The Trophy system tests constitute an element of the second phase of the Defender Europe-20 exercise, the scenario of which has been modified. Responding to Defence24.pl’s question, the US Army Europe spokesman said that “the Trophy system does not have a direct role in the EDRE exercise – they are two separate activities during Phase II of the modified DEFENDER-Europe 20. The fielding of the Trophy systems provides the U.S. Army with the hands-on opportunity to assess the dynamics of moving and installing the system in a field environment.” The EDRE exercise involves deployment of equipment for an armoured battalion drawn from the Army Prepositioned Stock to Drawsko Pomorskie. Then the US soldiers would take over this equipment and conduct a field training exercise, jointly with the Polish soldiers.
US Army Europe said that Trophy systems had been transported to Europe, then installed and tested earlier this month. While not providing details due to operational reasons, US Army Europe media desk stated that the 18th Military Police Brigade “drew, installed and fielded the Trophy system from Army Prepositioned Stock on 8 M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks at Bergen-Hohne Training Area, Germany”.
After the undertaking comes to an end, the system would be removed from the Abrams tanks. US Army Europe has not disclosed the details of the tests planned. However, we know from the earlier releases that this form of tests is aimed at verifying the ability to rapidly install the Trophy system on the MBTs in field conditions. The activities will test both the systems, as well as the capacity of the logisticians involved in the whole undertaking.
Trophy is a hard-kill active protection system developed by Rafael in Israel. The system has already been introduced into service in the Israel Defence Forces where it has seen operational use already. The IDF uses the Trophy system on Merkava Mk 3 and Mk 4 main battle tanks, and the Namer heavy carriers.
The US Army decided to procure Trophy to make it possible to integrate it on the Abrams MBTs operated by four Brigades. Leonardo DRS is acting as the integrator of the system in the US marketplace. The system is to enhance the level of protection of the Abrams MBTs against advanced ATGMs, such as the ones used by Russia. Germany also decided to procure the Trophy system for the Leopard 2 main battle tanks, namely for the Leopard 2 element that is a part of the NATO response force, with its stand-by term beginning in 2023.