FEINDEF 2023 – GDELS integrates EuroTrophy on its ASCOD technology demonstrator while the active protection systems begins to be produced in Europe

Paolo Valpolini

EuroTrophy GmbH, the joint venture between Rafael Advanced Defense Systems of Israel, the company that developed the Trophy, and two of the major armoured platform manufacturers in Europe, GDELS (General Dynamics European Land Systems) and KMW (Krauss-Maffei Wegmann), is starting production of the EuroTrophy active defence system in Europe, while GDELS has exhibited at FEINDEF the active protection system integrated in its ASCOD technology demonstrator

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At FEINDEF 2023 GDELS-Santa Bárbara Sistemas was exhibiting the ASCOD tracked platform in five different versions, one of them being a technology demonstrator. This included the optionally manned module, the new NEVA open digital architecture that allows legacy systems to cope with short innovation cycles especially of digitalized equipment, advanced steel and composite tracks, the Vehicle Intelligent Monitoring System (VIMS) that allows optimized fleet management, and last, but definitely not least, the EuroTrophy active protection system.

The role of the latter in increasing the protection level of the vehicle, breaking the protection-weight equation was underlined during a press conference by GDELS.

At the Madrid exhibition EDR On-Line had the opportunity to talk to Dan Kalfus, EuroTrophy General Manager. Besides being installed on the ASCOD, the system was also visible in the PAP Tecnos booth, this company being the Spanish arm of Rafael.

The recent contract awarded by Norway for integrating the EuroTrophy in the recently ordered Leopard 2A8 will represent the baseline configuration also for those destined to the German Army.

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The production of the system has now been launched in Germany; in the Kassel facility the electronic boxes and the harnesses are being produced, while launchers are manufactured in Kassel, this work split representing the specialties of the two plants, electronics on one side and mechanics on the other. What will initially come from Israel are radars; a German solution is definitely not ruled out, but as none of the two German players is active in that field a German third party must be identified, and this will require more time.

“As for Spain, we work really close with GDELS-SBS on its integration into tracked vehicles,” Dan Kalkus told EDR On-Line. The system integration on the technology demonstrator opens the road to its adoption on the VAC, the advanced version of the ASCOD that should replace the M113s TOA in Spanish Army units, and which prototype was also exhibited at FEINDEF. In Spain the leading company within the joint venture is obviously GDELS, which is about to set up an industrial plan in country. To this end it was announced during the press conference that an Industry Day will soon be organised, in order to present the system to other Spanish companies that might become partners, increasing the national content of the system should it be adopted by the Ejercito de Tierra.

Effective against kinetic energy rounds as well as against shaped charges, the Trophy is in service in Israel since 2011, and in the United States. In January this year EuroTrophy unveiled at the International Armoured Vehicles Conference a new mode of operation, dubbed Silent Mode, which exploits an electro-optic sensor to activate the radar, thus considerably reducing the radiofrequency signature of the system.

Photos by P. Valpolini