UK to Assess Israeli Active Protection Systems on Challenger Tank

The UK will assess the Trophy Active Protection System (APS) for integration with the Challenger 3 main battle tank (MBT), system manufacturer Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. announced.

The Trophy was selected for the assessment after a detailed study conducted by the UK Ministry of Defence as part of a Challenger upgrade program led by prime contractor Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land, the Israeli firm added in the statement.

The assessment will reveal whether APS fits the British Army’s requirements for its primary armored vehicle.

Trophy APS

Developed in response to increasingly effective anti-armor ammunition, Rafael claims that the system provides “combat-proven protection against rocket and missile threats and simultaneously locates the origin of the hostile fire for immediate response.”

The Trophy APS has been installed on the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Merkava MBT since 2010, also being used on the IDF armored personnel carrier “Namer.” 

The armor protection system has also been supplied to “four US Army Abrams MBT brigades, and will soon be supplied to Germany for its Leopard MBTs.”

Proven Technology

Rafael claims that in over 1,000,000 operating hours spanning ten years, no Trophy-fitted tank has suffered damage or crew injuries.

“Trophy APS has saved the lives of numerous soldiers and has been instrumental in protecting assets on the battlefield and enabling tank crews to maneuver safely under anti-tank fire and perform their missions safely and fully,” Brig. Gen (Ret.) Michael Lurie, head of Rafael’s land maneuverability systems directorate, stated. 

Challenger Upgrade

Meanwhile, the UK has awarded an 800 million pound ($1.13 billion) contract to Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land to upgrade 148 Challenger 2 main battle tanks.

The upgrade will see the Cold War-era tank transformed into a “network-enabled, digital main battle tank with state-of-the-art lethality, upgraded survivability, plus world-class surveillance and target acquisition capabilities.”

The upgrade, scheduled from 2021-2027, will see the tanks equipped with a new L55 120mm smoothbore main gun that can fire more accurate and penetrative “kinetic anti-tank rounds and programmable multi-purpose ammunition.”

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