Back in March, we detailed how the United States Army M1 Abrams tank, an American third-generation main battle tank, was in the process of being upgraded with an invisible missile shield that will destroy all chemical energy anti-tank threats and other threats before reaching the vehicle. We even said, “that Washington is preparing their main battle tank for the next evolution of hybrid wars.”
Known as Trophy, this is the world’s first and only fully operational Active Protection System and Hostile Fire Detection System for armored vehicles. This cutting-edge technology will provide M1 Abrams tanks with 360-degree security from all threats, as advanced algorithms are continually detecting, locating, and neutralizing anti-tank threats on the battlefield.
We even noted that the Trophy system was tested thoroughly on select M1A2 tanks in Europe and the Middle East. With much of the testing classified, there were still several unanswered questions surrounding what region(s) of the world the upgrades would go.
However, in a new report on Thursday, the United States Army has decided to deploy the missile shields for M1 Abrams tanks to Europe “as part of a sweeping effort to better arm its Armored Brigade Combat Teams and counter Russian threats in the region,” said Warrior Maven, as quoted by Fox News.
“Not only will we be fielding one set of Trophy on Abrams tanks to Europe, but also three other brigades,” Maj. Gen. John Ferrari, Director, Program Analysis and Evaluation, G-8, told Warrior Maven in an interview.
“The weapons plus-up for Europe-bound Active Protection System is woven into the 2019 budget request,” he added.
The Trophy system employs advanced algorithms that use radar to provide continuous 360-degree protection. The bolt on kit includes four antennas and two rotating launchers mounted on the turret of each tank (see below).
Once the threat is discovered, the algorithm classifies the threat, and if a direct hit is calculated, the countermeasure systems are automatically activated, and a tight pattern of explosively shaped penetrators launches at the warhead to neutralize the threat (as shown below).
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems says the Trophy system has been thoroughly tested, qualified, and is already in production for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The system debuted in 2009 and had proven to work exceptionally well in the Gaza Strip and other hot spots around Israel.
Warrior Maven points out that the immediate deployment of Trophy systems for American tanks in Europe is to counter new high-tech Russian technology, which has been deployed to the European Russia border.
“Trophy is the kind of armored vehicle ground-war weapon of particular value in the event of a major land combat engagement against a fortified, well-armed adversary such as Russia. Systems of this kind have been in development for many years, however the rapid technological progress of enemy tank rounds, missiles and RPGs is leading the Army to more rapidly deploy Active Protection System for its fleet of Abrams tanks deploying to Europe.”
Warrior Maven also describes the Pentagon’s biggest fear:
“APS on Abrams tanks, quite naturally, is the kind of protective technology which could help US Army tanks in tank-on-tank mechanized warfare against near-peer adversary tanks, such as a high-tech Russian T-14 Armata tank.
The 48-ton modern T-14 tank is widely reported to be able to reach speeds of 90-kilometers per hour; it is built with an unmanned turret, without a “fume extractor” and is designed for a 3-man crew surrounded by an armored capsule
While much has been made of the T-14 Armata’s cutting-edge technology, including its active protection, 12-round per minute firing range and 125mm smoothbore cannon in numerous public reports and assessments, it is not at all clear that the T-14 in any way fully outmatches current and future variants of the Abrams tank.
Army Abrams modernization efforts are without question being designed to meet and exceed any dangers posed by rival nation tanks, including the T-14. Concerns about the threat posed by the T-14 Armata are, without question, informing US tank and weapons developers.”
Essentially, Washington’s much-needed modernization efforts of invisible force fields, are to protect M1 Abrams from Russian anti-tank weapons and its new high-tech T-14 Armata, all evidence suggests — a major conflict could soon be on the horizon.