Israeli Laser Defense System to Protect NATO Tanker Transport Aircraft
JNS.org – A laser system designed by Israel’s Elbit Systems to protect aircraft against infrared (IR) homing missiles will be used by NATO’s Multinational Multi Role Tanker Transport Fleet (MMF) starting in 2020, the company announced this week.
In a three-day series of flight tests for the new directed IR countermeasures (DIRCM) system, called “J-Music,” at the end of May, it was integrated into Airbus-manufactured A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport aircraft. J-Music functioned flawlessly throughout the tests, proving itself capable of defeating multiple threat types.
It successfully handled simultaneous threat scenarios and overcame head-on, tail-on and side-on threats from a number of ranges and at various altitudes.
Elbit Systems engineers supported the tests and NATO officials monitored the process.
Elbit Systems’ DIRCM systems integrate the latest laser technology with a high frame-rate thermal cameras and a small, high-speed sealed-mirror turret.
Peter Dohmen, general manager of the NATO Support and Procurement Agency, said: “The MMF program is a clear example of nations recognizing the need to generate modern defense capabilities in a cooperative, cost-efficient and effective way.”
Dohmen said that the J-Music system provided added security and operational flexibility to the NATO fleet.
Elad Aharonson, general manager of Elbit Systems’ ISTAR Division, said that Elbit was “proud to take part in the MMF program and to deliver J-Music … to protect the entire fleet. I believe that the effective cooperation with our partners on the MMF program will be a blueprint for additional projects.”
Word of the success of Elbit’s J-Music system spread quickly. On Wednesday, the company announced it had been awarded a contract worth some $73 million to provide J-Music DIRCM systems to the German Air Force. The contract will be performed over a four-year period.
Elbit Systems will work closely with DIEHL Defence and Airbus Defence and Space to outfit the air force’s A400M aircraft with the protection suite.