COLOGNE, Germany – The German and Israeli defense ministries have signed an agreement to purchase the Trophy active protection system manufactured by Rafael for the Bundeswehr’s Leopard 2 tanks, the two governments announced on February 23.
The Feb. 22 deal will see the defense system, which fires projectiles at incoming anti-tank munitions, installed in a company’s tanks, or 17 operational vehicles plus a benchmark type for testing, by 2025. Krauss-Maffei Wegmann is the contractor to install Trophy components on the tanks in the course of an upgrade from the A6-A3 configuration to the A7-A1 version, according to a memorandum to the German parliament by defense officials in late January requesting funding for the project.
The letter was approved by lawmakers at the time, paving the way for the deal with Israel and manufacturer Rafael announced today. The 23 trophy sets and 586 interceptors sought by the Germans are priced at $ 48 million. Leopard maker KMW expects to get roughly double for integration work, leaving the government here with 18 tank hulls that will no longer be needed after the upgrade.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz called the Trophy system a “product of Israel’s innovative defense industry,” and Germany’s assent represents an “expression of confidence” in the defense cooperation of the two countries.
The German Bundeswehr decided to equip its tanks with an active protection system because “modern anti-tank guided missiles pose a significant threat,” defense officials wrote to lawmakers. The current effort to introduce Trophy is intended as a “first step” toward wider use of similar technology, the memo says.
German defense officials considered the Trophy, already used in Israeli and American tanks, to be the most advanced and operationally proven system available on the market today, they told lawmakers.