13 Agustus 2016
A Rafael Samson unmanned weapon station mounted on a M113 APC launches a Spike LR missile. (photo : Rafael)
Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems is a leading contender to supply active protection systems (APS) and missiles for the Australia Department of Defence's (DoD's) Land 400 programme, a company representative told IHS Jane's on 10 August.
Land 400 covers the replacement of Australia's Light Armoured Vehicles (ASLAVs), M113 armoured personnel carriers (APCs), and Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles.
It is currently at Phase 2, which involves the acquisition of 225 combat reconnaissance vehicles (CRVs), with the contenders shortlisted to the Patria/BAE Systems AMV35 and the Rheinmetall Defence Boxer.
The Australian Army says it is giving the bidders the flexibility to include options such as manned or unmanned turrets and protection systems to meet the combination of survivability, mobility, and firepower required for the CRV.
Trophy APS was developed to increase protection for military vehicles (photo : Army Recognition)
However, Yiftach Kleinman, Manager of Marketing and Business Development at Rafael's Land Maneuver Systems Directorate, said that, while the successful bidder will recommend subsystems for their vehicle, the DoD could select alternative ones.
This would mean that Rafael's Trophy APS, Samson remote weapon station, and Spike missile could be selected regardless of whether the AMV35 or Boxer wins.
Kleinman expressed confidence in Trophy's chances of being selected by the Australians, although it potentially faces competition from the Israel Military Industries (IMI) Iron Fist APS, which was part of the now-eliminated bid by Elbit Systems and Singapore Technologies Kinetics.
Trophy has the advantage that it has been in service with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) for nearly five years in the form of the original HV variant fitted to the Merkava IV tanks and Namer heavy APCs. The Israeli Ministry of Defense recently announced that Trophy HV will initially be fitted to the new Eitan 8x8 wheeled armoured vehicle that it is developing, although a different APS may subsequently be selected.
Rafael also offers the lighter Trophy MV, but Kleinman said this still needs to go through a four-year client-approval process once the development stage has been completed.