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Trophy vs. Quick Kill: Which is the better defense against anti-tank munitions?

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by David Crane

[email protected]

On Monday, Sept. 25 2006, NBC Senior Investigative Correspondent Lisa Myers went head-to-head with Col. David Hunt, U.S. Army (Ret.) on The O’Reilly Factor (with Bill O’Reilly). At issue was the U.S. Army’s choice to award Raytheon with a $70 million contract for its Quick Kill anti-RPG active defense system a.k.a. "RPG defense system" over Rafael’s Trophy Active Protection System (APS). In their report on the situation, NBC news contends that in choosing Quick Kill over Trophy, the Army overrode the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Office of Force Transformation (OFT).

According to NBC News, OFT was going to purchase the Trophy APS system for battlefield trials on three Stryker APC/IFV’s (armored infantry fighting vehicles) in Iraq in 2007, based on testing it had conducted of the system. The following is an excerpt from the NBC News report, titled Army shuns system to combat RPGs: Experts agree it might help save lives, so why isn’t it in the field?:…

"OFT officials subjected Trophy to 30 tests and found that it is ‘more than 98 percent’ effective at killing RPGs.

An official involved with those tests told NBC that Trophy ‘worked in every case. The only anomaly was that in one test, the Trophy round hit the RPG’s tail instead of its head. But according to our test criteria, the system was 30 for 30.’"

DefenseReview would like to see the testing data with our own eyes, to see exactly how the Trophy testing was conducted. "More than 98% effective" is an awfully high percentage considering the difficulty in stopping incoming anti-tank munitions (RPGs, guided missiles/munitions) and the system sophistication required to do so. DefenseReview is therefore just as skeptical as Murdoc is about these numbers at present, and Murdoc is highly skeptical.

Anyway, the report goes on to read that Quick Kill won’t be field ready until 2011. The implication of course, if NBC News’ report is accurate, is that the Army is engaging in favoritism towards Raytheon, an American company, over Rafael, an Israeli company, even though Trophy works already and would be ready to go by next year.

Well, Col. Hunt was quick to pounce on Ms. Myers and the NBC News gang, and claimed that the U.S. Army was right to choose Quick Kill over Trophy because, according to him, Quick Kill is the superior system. The following is an excerpted portion of what he said on the program:

"Yeah, unfortunately, everyone I talked to, in Israel, Raytheon, and the Army…NBC got this thing very wrong. Um, the problem is that the Israeli system is not going to be ready for a few years, and it’s a more complicated system, and it blows up the IED [he possibly meant to say RPG] closer to the vehicle, killing anyone around it. And, it was not as NBC shown–an inside deal. Raytheonwas not part of the bidding. The Raytheon product is actually better, and no other contractor has gone up and said it was a bad deal. I also didn’t like the fact that they used a dead soldier’s mother to pull on the heart strings. Everyone I’ve talked to about this said NBC flat got this thing wrong."

To which Ms. Myers replied:

"Well, uh, respectfully, uh, Colonel Hunt is wrong. Uhh, we had multiple redundent resources inside the Pentagon, inside the oversight community, and since we did our report, the Pentagon and the Army have been leaking like a sieve. Uhm, a number of people have come to us and provided new information to reinforce what we initially reported, and say that we only know the tip of the iceberg."

Ms. Myers appeared to imply on the Factor (The O’Reilly Factor) that the U.S. Army is not only giving preferential treatment to Raytheon, but it’s also blocking the field testing of the Trophy APS system on the three Strykers in 2007, which, according to our understanding of what she said on the Factor, could be done as a parallel technology development program/field test.

It was a really interesting segment. On the one hand, Col. Hunt sounded very sure of himself, and DefenseReview has always found Col. Hunt to be a straight shooter and all-around no-B.S. guy, who tends not to argue a position unless he knows what he’s talking about. On the other hand, NBC News supposedly did their homework on this thing. Ms. Myers brought a very thick research folder with her to the Factor (O’Reilly Factor), as evidence of said homework.

So, who’s right, Ms. Myers or Col. Hunt? We don’t know, yet. However, Jason Sigger of DefenseTech.org has highlighted a quote by Future Combat Systems (FCS) Program Manager Brig. Gen. Charles Cartwright in his informative DefenseTech piece that reads:

"It is not just about giving [soldiers] an APS system. How do the soldiers work with it? How does it tie into the network? How do you know when to turn it on? When not to turn it on?" Brig. Gen. Cartwright continues, "We could put something over there…overnight but have I got the logistics to be able to support the technology."

Defense Review will look into this thing and report back to our readers on it.

Click here to read the original NBC Report that started the controversy.

Related articles on the Trophy APS vs. Quick Kill controversy:

No Trophy for NBC News (DefenseTech.org) — Highly recommended reading.

Trophy Active Protection System (MurdocOnline.net) — Highly recommended reading.

Army dedicated to protecting soldiers (United Press International a.k.a. UPI)

US Army: Active Protection Not Needed in Iraq (DefenseNews.com)

U.S. Army defends Raytheon contract amid storm (by Jim Wolf, The Washington Post)

Army Committed to Force Protection, Not False Security (by Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service)

Related Articles on the Trophy APS and Quick Kill anti-RPG/RPG defense tech:

Video: "OFT officials subjected Trophy to 30 tests and found that it is ‘more than 98 percent’ effective at killing RPGs.

An official involved with those tests told NBC that Trophy ‘worked in every case. The only anomaly was that in one test, the Trophy round hit the RPG’s tail instead of its head. But according to our test criteria, the system was 30 for 30.’"

DefenseReview would like to see the testing data with our own eyes, to see exactly how the Trophy testing was conducted. "More than 98% effective" is an awfully high percentage considering the difficulty in stopping incoming anti-tank munitions (RPGs, guided missiles/munitions) and the system sophistication required to do so. DefenseReview is therefore just as skeptical as Murdoc is about these numbers at present, and Murdoc is highly skeptical.

Anyway, the report goes on to read that Quick Kill won’t be field ready until 2011. The implication of course, if NBC News’ report is accurate, is that the Army is engaging in favoritism towards Raytheon, an American company, over Rafael, an Israeli company, even though Trophy works already and would be ready to go by next year.

Well, Col. Hunt was quick to pounce on Ms. Myers and the NBC News gang, and claimed that the U.S. Army was right to choose Quick Kill over Trophy because, according to him, Quick Kill is the superior system. The following is an excerpted portion of what he said on the program:

"Yeah, unfortunately, everyone I talked to, in Israel, Raytheon, and the Army…NBC got this thing very wrong. Um, the problem is that the Israeli system is not going to be ready for a few years, and it’s a more complicated system, and it blows up the IED [he possibly meant to say RPG] closer to the vehicle, killing anyone around it. And, it was not as NBC shown–an inside deal. Raytheonwas not part of the bidding. The Raytheon product is actually better, and no other contractor has gone up and said it was a bad deal. I also didn’t like the fact that they used a dead soldier’s mother to pull on the heart strings. Everyone I’ve talked to about this said NBC flat got this thing wrong."

To which Ms. Myers replied:

"Well, uh, respectfully, uh, Colonel Hunt is wrong. Uhh, we had multiple redundent resources inside the Pentagon, inside the oversight community, and since we did our report, the Pentagon and the Army have been leaking like a sieve. Uhm, a number of people have come to us and provided new information to reinforce what we initially reported, and say that we only know the tip of the iceberg."

Ms. Myers appeared to imply on the Factor (The O’Reilly Factor) that the U.S. Army is not only giving preferential treatment to Raytheon, but it’s also blocking the field testing of the Trophy APS system on the three Strykers in 2007, which, according to our understanding of what she said on the Factor, could be done as a parallel technology development program/field test.

It was a really interesting segment. On the one hand, Col. Hunt sounded very sure of himself, and DefenseReview has always found Col. Hunt to be a straight shooter and all-around no-B.S. guy, who tends not to argue a position unless he knows what he’s talking about. On the other hand, NBC News supposedly did their homework on this thing. Ms. Myers brought a very thick research folder with her to the Factor (O’Reilly Factor), as evidence of said homework.

So, who’s right, Ms. Myers or Col. Hunt? We don’t know, yet. However, Jason Sigger of DefenseTech.org has highlighted a quote by Future Combat Systems (FCS) Program Manager Brig. Gen. Charles Cartwright in his informative DefenseTech piece that reads:

"It is not just about giving [soldiers] an APS system. How do the soldiers work with it? How does it tie into the network? How do you know when to turn it on? When not to turn it on?" Brig. Gen. Cartwright continues, "We could put something over there…overnight but have I got the logistics to be able to support the technology."

Defense Review will look into this thing and report back to our readers on it.

Click here to read the original NBC Report that started the controversy.

Related articles on the Trophy APS vs. Quick Kill controversy:

No Trophy for NBC News (DefenseTech.org) — Highly recommended reading.

Trophy Active Protection System (MurdocOnline.net) — Highly recommended reading.

Army dedicated to protecting soldiers (United Press International a.k.a. UPI)

US Army: Active Protection Not Needed in Iraq (DefenseNews.com)

U.S. Army defends Raytheon contract amid storm (by Jim Wolf, The Washington Post)

Army Committed to Force Protection, Not False Security (by Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service)

Related Articles on the Trophy APS and Quick Kill anti-RPG/RPG defense tech:

Video: Trophy Anti-RPG/Anti-Missile Protection System for APCs and Tanks (by David Crane, DefenseReview.com)

Trophy Active Protection System: RAFAEL (system) / IAI Elta (threat detection) (Defense-Update.com)

"Active Protection" Speeds Up (DefenseTech.org)

/Anti-Missile Protection System for APCs and Tanks (by David Crane, DefenseReview.com)

Trophy Active Protection System: RAFAEL (system) / IAI Elta (threat detection) (Defense-Update.com)

"Active Protection" Speeds Up (DefenseTech.org)

Trophy vs. Quick Kill: Which is the better defense against anti-tank munitions? by
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About David Crane

David Crane started publishing online in 2001. Since that time, governments, military organizations, Special Operators (i.e. professional trigger pullers), agencies, and civilian tactical shooters the world over have come to depend on Defense Review as the authoritative source of news and information on "the latest and greatest" in the field of military defense and tactical technology and hardware, including tactical firearms, ammunition, equipment, gear, and training.

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