The German and Israeli defense ministries have signed a government-to-government (G2G) agreement for the purchase of the Rafael-made Trophy active protection system for the Bundeswehr’s Leopard 2 tanks, the two governments announced via a social media post on Tuesday.

The deal, signed on February 22, will provide the German military with the tank defense system, which includes protective armor for tanks and in addition interceptors, spare parts, and professional guidance.

Rafael Land and Naval Division EVP and head Dr. Ran Gozali said, “Germany is joining an exclusive group of advanced tier-1 nations who have chosen Trophy APS to protect their troops and assets from the ever-increasing threat of anti-armor warfare.”

“We are thankful to the German government for joining other user nations and for their confidence in our system and our experience, and we look forward to working with KMW on the integration and installation of Trophy on the Leopard 2 and on future platforms.”

The 23 Trophy systems and 586 interceptors that Rafael has agreed to sell to Germany will cost $48 million. According to Rafael, Trophy creates a neutralization bubble around the vehicle. It rapidly detects, classifies, and engages all known chemical energy (CE) threats – including recoilless rifles, Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs), AT rockets, HEAT tank rounds, and RPGs. It increases the lethality of a formation/force, successfully neutralizing the enemy’s anti-tank teams. It can locate the fire source, enabling the crew to return fire effectively with the Samson 30 RWS, or by interfacing with other fighting platforms via the BMS network.

Trophy is the system used by the Israeli military. It has also been sold to the United States for use on the M1 Abrams tanks.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz said, “Once again, we see the appreciation of defense organizations all over the world for Israel’s innovation and technology. The fact that Germany, with which Israel has important ties, expresses faith in the system underscores the might of the Israeli defense industry.”

The German Bundestag released the funds to purchase the Trophy system after military officials wrote to lawmakers asking for the purchase, stating the system is the most advanced on the market. 

The German Ministry of Defense, in a statement, said of the system, “The Leopard 2 is a main weapon of the Bundeswehr in the fight against mechanized and armored enemy forces. In addition to one’s own firepower and mobility, protection is also decisive for the assertiveness of the armored troops in combat. The system chosen can significantly reduce the threat posed by anti-tank guided missiles and small arms. The Israeli armed forces are already using the Trophy system successfully. It has already saved the lives of many soldiers there.”

“The protection system will also be fitted on a test vehicle for developmental support. To this end, the hulls of the vehicles will have to be replaced in order to integrate the additional power supply required.” Spares and training would be needed as well. “In addition, the necessary spare parts, ammunition, and also transport and storage containers will be ordered. The training of the soldiers as crew and maintenance personnel will also be part of the contracts.”