"Trophy" Active Protection System -Merkava mark 4
During the first months of 2009 the Trophy system went through comprehensive operational testing and was cleared for operational use after a successful operational firing test conducted early August 09. By the end of the year all new Merkava Mk4 tanks will be equipped with the system. Until then, Trophy is being retrofitted to operational tanks.
The Trophy active protection system creates a hemispheric protected zone around the vehicle where incoming threats are intercepted and defeated. It has three elements providing – Threat Detection and Tracking, Launching and Intercept functions. The Threat Detection and Warning subsystem consists of several sensors, including flat-panel radars, placed at strategic locations around the protected vehicle, to provide full hemispherical coverage. Once an incoming threat is detected identified and verified, the Countermeasure Assembly is opened, the countermeasure device is positioned in the direction where it can effectively intercept the threat. Then, it is launched automatically into a ballistic trajectory to intercept the incoming threat at a relatively long distance.
Specific details about the composition and mechanism of this explosive interceptor device are vague. From the briefing provided by US sources, Defense Update understands that Trophy is design to form a "beam" of fragments, which will intercept any incoming HEAT threat, including RPG rockets at a range of 10 – 30 meters from the protected platform. The Trophy development roadmap considers an enhanced countermeasure unit to be available in the future, and protect against kinetic energy (KE) threats. Trophy was designed to effectively operate in a dense urban environment, where armored vehicles operate closely with integrated infantry forces. Therefore, direction, formation and energy of the fragments are designed to ensure effective target kill with low collateral damage, and low risk to nearby troops. While not in use, the system is maintained in the stowed position, protected by an armor shield. The system has an automatic reload mechanism to handle multiple attacks.
The system can simultaneously engage several threats, arriving from different directions, is effective on stationary or moving platforms, and is effective against short and long range threats (such as RPGs and ATGM). Trophy was designed to be effective in open or closed terrain, including urban area and can be operated under all weather conditions.
source: Defense Update - on line defense magazine