Sky Wars: German Air Force buys Israeli laser defense system to protect planes
Elbit was awarded the contract by Germany’s DIEHL Defense Company and the system is expected to be operational within a year. It’s intended to protect the German A400M Airbus aircraft. This is the first phase of a plan by the German Air Force to offer their aircraft better protection against potential missile threats.
The president of Elbit Systems, Bezhalel Machlis, said on his company’s website, “We are proud of our cooperation with DIEHL Defense on Direct Infrared Counter-Measures that has resulted in this initial contract."
"Our DIRCM systems provide effective protection to the growing threat of MANPADS, and we hope that additional customers will follow and select our systems as their preferred solution," he added.
The DIRCM (Direct Infra-Red Counter Measures) system will be able to provide aircraft with 360 degree cover and is designed to protect large military and commercial aircraft. It is lightweight and also compact, meaning that it can easily be fitted onto the aircraft in question in either a single turret, or a multi-turret configuration.
— Elbit Systems (@ElbitSystemsLtd) November 17, 2014
The system works by using infra-red sensors to detect incoming missiles. If detected, a laser is fired to disrupt the missile’s navigation system, with the intention of sending it off course and away from its intended target.
Elbit Systems has incorporated its J-MUSIC (Multi-Spectral Infrared Countermeasure) program into the system, which they say can counter the growing threat of MANPADS (ground to air heat seeking man-portable missiles.)
"Elbit Systems has completed extensive testing of the J-MUSIC system and has already delivered systems to equip several types of aircraft to various customers," the company said in a statement posted on their website on Monday.
— Jewish Business News (@JBusinessNews) November 17, 2014
In February, the Israeli Defense Ministry and Elbit Systems announced they had managed to successfully complete a trial program to test another laser defense system – C-MUSIC. This is intended to be used to protect Israeli civilian aircraft.
"The experiments, carried out in southern Israel, were some of the most complex and sophisticated ever carried out in Israel," the Defense Ministry said, as reported by the Jerusalem Post. "They simulated a range of threats that the C-Music system will have to deal with."
"C-Music is considered the most advanced system of its kind in the world, and will provide ultimate defense to planes," the ministry added.