Over 250 US Army Abrams battle tanks will receive Trophy protection systems designed to destroy incoming projectiles.

As part of the US Army's budget proposal for 2019, the army is set to purchase 261 Trophy systems, reports Popular Mechanics. Also known as anti-tank active protection system, APS can protect tanks in the battlefield from anti-tank warheads including rockets and missiles.

The Trophy APS has been under research and development for over two years. Trophy works through its radar antennas that are located around the tank, constantly scanning its surroundings for any threats. If there is any incoming projectile, the APS tracks and calculates the trajectory of the incoming and just as it approaches, Trophy fires a shotgun like pattern of projectiles at the threat, destroying the rocket, shell, or missile.

The makers of the Trophy, Rafael, call it a "hard kill" APS.

M1 Abrams tank
The M1 Abrams tanks have been serving the US military for decades but next-gen technology is aiming to revolutionise the heavy vehicles. Reuters

Also, such systems are reportedly needed against an army like that of Russia's which has the technology and the know-how to effectively destroy an Abrams. Fighters in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East where the US army has been active over the last decade and a half do not have weapons powerful enough to take on the mighty Abrams, notes the report.

Abrams weighs around 70 tonnes and the Trophy adds only about 1,807 pounds to its weight. To gain the same level of protection that the Trophy offers, it is estimated that the Abrams will have to put on several more tonnes of steel plating, depleted uranium shields, and other forms of heavy armour, which will add to the weight, putting excessive strain on the suspension and engine. This would also significantly reduce the manoeuvrability of the tank.

Recently, a German defence company unveiled a similar active defence system for tanks.