- Hans Weber
- February 1, 2023
KMW shows Leopard 2A7 tank with Trophy APS in the Czech Republic
PRAGUE ($1=1.00 Euro) — KMW has shown off its latest modification of the Leopard tank with the Trophy APS. It is a Leopard 2A7 version. The demonstration took place in the Czech Republic during NATO Days 2022.
The Trophy is an Israeli active protection system [APS] developed by the companies Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Elta Group. The main idea of the system is to improve the survivability of the tank on the battlefield. Trophy APS is capable of making the tank invulnerable in certain combat situations. Together with the existing tank armor, the passive protection of the tank, and its mod system, the Trophy APS further increases the effectiveness of the armored vehicle. The problem is that with the integration of this system, the tank becomes heavier, which affects its mobility.
During NATO Days 2022, the Leopard 2A7 was plastered with the tank’s users, as can be seen in the attached photos. It is noteworthy that Turkey is also present in the list of German manufacturer companies. BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that Turkey is developing a new tank – Altai, which is currently testing various engines – South Korean and locally produced. But Turkey is a user of an older Leopard version – 2A4, and that is why it is present with its flag at the demonstration.
Trophy APS in Europe
As we reported in March 2022 Euro Trophy GmbH was established in Germany this week. Its mission is to market, sell and manufacture the Advanced Trophy Active Protection System [APS] for armored vehicles [both wheeled and tracked].
Behind the new company is an alliance signed by the German company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann [KMW], the Spanish-based multinational General Dynamics European Land Systems [GDELS], and the Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems [Rafael].
Euro Trophy strives to serve the customers of this NATO and EU system in Europe, in addition to providing qualified services for vehicle integration and lifelong support of the said active protection system. The APS Trophy will be produced in Germany thanks to the transfer of technology in which the agreement was drawn up. Directors Mark Stockfish, Daniela Müller, and Dan Kalfus have been appointed to take over the reins of the new company.
Its developers claim that the Trophy “is the only APS in the world fully integrated and tested in battle.” Since 2010, the decision has protected the main Merkava battle tanks and the Namer APC armored vehicles, both of which are in the inventory of the Israeli Defense Forces.
The main function of the system is to ensure that the armored vehicle is protected from anti-tank missiles. So far, according to official information from the Israeli company Rafael, Trophy APS has over 1,000,000 working hours and 5,300 live shootings have been carried out, some in combat conditions, some during tests.
In addition to the Israeli armored combat vehicles Merkava 3 & 4 MBTs and Namer APC, the system is integrated on the American Abrams MBT tanks, as well as on the German Leopard 2 and the British Challenger 3.
Trophy APS works by providing an imaginary balloon around the armored vehicle at 360 ° in azimuth through dozens of sensors that detect all known threats of chemical energy [CE] – including recoilless rifles, ATGMs, AT missiles, HEAT tank cartridges, and RPGs. It works in a fairly wide range with simultaneous execution of dozens of tasks, monitoring hazards from all possible positions in 360 ° azimuth.
The system can pre-define an enemy or friendly zone, troops, and weapon systems. It has an integrated system for electronic warfare and modern communication solutions. Trophy APS is suitable for heavily armored combat vehicles and medium-heavy ones.
Trophy APS in battle
The Trophy APS was introduced to the Israeli army in 2009, following a series of tests a few months earlier by Israeli engineers.
The first case in which the Trophy APS proved to be a reliable security system for the combat vehicle was 2011 in early March. The system then thwarted a missile attack against an Israeli Merkava tank in the region. A few days later, another missile attack on an Israeli tank of the same model challenged the system’s software and computing capabilities. Trophy APS detects the missile fired at the tank but does not intercept it, as the mathematical algorithms integrated into it calculate that the missile will not hit the tank as it does.
In the following years, to this day, based on the Israeli-Gaza conflict, there have been almost every year attempts at missile attacks on tanks with integrated Trophy systems, all of which have failed. Trophy APS even intercepts and destroys a Russian second-generation 9M133 Kornet missile.
Leopard 2A7 is manufactured by the German manufacturer of armored combat chain and wheeled weapons Krauss-Maffei Wegmann. It is known that Leopard 2A7 began its existence in 2014, with the first 14 units delivered to the German army.
The tank weighs 66 tons, and the crew consists of four people. Leopard 2A7 is not suitable for urban combat conditions, unlike the latest version developed specifically for the German army Leopard 2A7 +. The Leopard 2A7 is powered by a Steyr Motors M12 TCA UI, which provides 1,500 horsepower. The tank is protected by the Swedish mobile camouflage system – Saab Barracuda [MCS], as well as by the heat transfer reduction system [HTR CoolCam].
The tank has several optimizations, such as optimized or new ultracapacitors in the chassis and dome, a digital intercom system SOTAS IP, a new fire protection system, optimized thermal imaging modules, and other optics. The main weapon of the Leopard 2A7 is the Rheinmetall Rh-120mm smoothbore tank gun designed and manufactured by the West German Rheinmetall-DeTec AG company. Depending on customer preferences, the tank can be equipped with 2 × 7.62 mm German-made MG3A1 machine guns or 2 × 7.62 mm Belgian-made FN MAG machine guns.