We knew that London planned to equip its future Challenger 3 tank , a retrofit of the Challenger 2 currently in service to overcome its defects and obsolescence and make it possible to connect with a possible replacement from 2035 , with a Hard protection system -Kill to increase protection against anti-tank missiles and rockets. The British Ministry of Defense has just confirmed that the Trophy active protection system from Israeli Rafael had been selected for this purpose, in this case in its lighter version Trophy MV/VPS. The British Army will therefore be the 3rd NATO army to choose the Israeli self-protection system, after the US Army which ordered 400 kits to equip its M1A2 Abrams on mission, the equivalent of 4 combat brigades , and the German army, which ordered around thirty of these systems to equip, if necessary, the equivalent of a company of Leopard 2s .
Entered into service in 2011 to equip the Merkava Mk4 tanks and Namer infantry fighting vehicles of the Israeli Army, the Trophy quickly earned a reputation for effectiveness, both in exercise and in combat, since no Israeli armor protected by the system has been lost since its entry into service, and that the manufacturer, like the tests carried out by the US Army, would have demonstrated an effectiveness of around 95% against rockets and anti-tank missiles. It is based on 4 EL/M-2133 radar antennas covering the 360° surrounding the armored vehicle, and capable of detecting projectiles aimed at it. A computer then determines the optimum interception position to send a MEFP munition composed of several penetrators in a compact matrix responsible for destroying the projectile without threatening the surrounding allied forces. Over the course of the versions, the Trophy saw its capabilities increase, in particular to intercept hollow charge shells fired from another armored vehicle, and soon, according to Rafael, to destroy the kinetic penetrators of modern arrow shells. It has also seen its weight reduced, going from almost a ton in its initial version, to only 600 kg in the MV/VPS version, and even 200 kg in the “Light” version intended to protect light vehicles. The weight loss of the MV version was accompanied by a drop in prices, falling below the $1 million mark.
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