The U.S. Army took delivery of a new protection system for its tanks in Germany. The Israeli manufactured “Trophy” system is the new guard of vehicle protection systems.

There are no specific details about the system but here is what we know. The Trophy protective weapon system is the most technologically advanced available of its type. It is manufactured by Raphael Advanced Defense Systems in Haifa, Israel, and is said to be the answer to the army's current technological adversaries.

Stars & Stripes reported that several countries are working on producing their own variants of air defense systems for tanks and other armored brigades. Meanwhile, this one was combat-tested by Israel. Raphael Advanced Defense Systems said in a statement that the system was first installed on Israeli Merkava tanks in 2011 and that it has made "numerous combat interceptions with no injuries to crews, dismounted troops or damage to platforms.”

According to claims from the RADS website, the system is the only battle field-tested system of its kind and has proven itself effective in action.

An Abrams Tank pivots during military exercises
U.S. soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, "Cottonbalers", who are deployed in Latvia, take part in a training exercise with M1A2 "Abrams" tank in Adazi military base, Latvia, May 7, 2015. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

Initial reports compare the system to the Navy's close-in weapon system or CWIS. There are multiple options as far as the Trophy system goes, in countering threats to a tank.:

The system can deploy soft kill countermeasures, such as flares and chaff as well as smoke grenades to confuse incoming weapons guidance systems. It can also use hard kill measures, meaning, it can go on the offensive against incoming missiles and rockets. It can engage incoming threats at a distance safe enough to destroy targets before they come in contact with the armored vehicle.

One of the unprecedented advantages of the Trophy system is the fact that it can use telemetry to locate the source of the projectile that was fired, allowing for an immediate response. This sounds eerily similar to the Longbow technology that is used on the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter.

The system hasn't come too soon. Russia and China have been successful in developing weapons that were capable of disabling even the most technologically advanced reactive armor. For example, the Russian employed Kornet missile can detonate and disable an M1 Abrams tank as if it was nothing.

Government sources told International Business Times that the U.S. Army is yet to test the sytem. It will make its debut at the Defender Europe where it will be tested and evaluated. Defender Europe is a large scale multinational military exercise that takes place in Europe across 10 countries.

Equipment will start to arrive in Europe in February and the whole of March will be taken up for preparations. The military exercises will kick off in April. The U.S. is contributing three armor brigades to the training and a good number of these will be outfitted with the new equipment. It will be fascinating to see the system in play on the battlefield even if it is only in an exercise.