WASHINGTON — Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has forged a partnership with Germany-based Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Spain-based General Dynamics European Land Systems to help market the Trophy active protection system in Europe, the company announced.
The new Germany-based venture, dubbed EuroTrophy, is charged with finding new takers for the defensive technology and leading any vehicle-integration efforts for future customers. The company is expected to be operational by the end of the year, pending regulatory approval.
In KMW, Rafael is getting the support of one-half of Germany’s venture behind the Leopard 2, the tank of choice by several European nations. The other company in that effort, Rheinmetall, is marketing its own system, dubbed StrikeShield, that will see an initial deployment on Rheinmetall’s Lynx vehicles sold to Hungary.
General Dynamics European Land Systems, the other partner in the EuroTrophy company, makes the ASCOD vehicle, variants of which are used in Spain, Austria and the U.K.
Hard-kill active protection systems like Trophy protect vehicles by firing projectiles at incoming rockets or grenades in the blink of an eye, disabling them within a safe distance. The suite of sensors and countermeasures has traditionally come at the cost of weight and electronic signature, but manufacturers say they managed to address such concerns in their latest developments.
In February, Germany ordered the Trophy system for a company’s worth of its Leopard 2 tanks, or 17 vehicles plus one for testing. The land forces’ tank fleet needs an active protection system because “modern anti-tank guided missiles pose a significant threat,” defense officials wrote to lawmakers at the time as a justification for seeking budget approval.
Earlier this month, Rafael announced the Trophy had passed live-fire tests on the Leopard 2s, with the Israeli government claiming an interception rate greater than 90 percent.
Sebastian Sprenger is Europe editor for Defense News, reporting on the state of the defense market in the region, and on U.S.-Europe cooperation and multinational investments in defense and global security. He previously served as managing editor for Defense News.