The threat evolves and so does the system that is designed to foil it.
It is obvious that not many airliners will be equipped in the foreseeable future with countermeasures against shoulder-launched missiles.
The state of the international aviation industry does not provide the atmosphere in which you can expect airlines to stay in line to purchase these systems.
However at the same time there is another market, not big like the one that is still dormant, but one with potential.
To that market, Elbit Systems is aiming at a dedicated version of its unique countermeasures system.
The Elop division of Elbit Systems has unveiled the J-MUSIC advanced directed infrared counter measures (DIRCM), designed and optimised to protect medium to large aircraft.
Elbit says that the new version is based on the same proven technologies of the C-MUSIC system, selected by the Israeli government to protect Israeli passenger aircraft. Installation of this system on the Israeli aircraft will begin soon.
According to the Israeli company, J-MUSIC is an advanced multi-spectral infrared fibre-laser based DIRCM system, which rapidly acquires and tracks incoming man-portable missiles (MANPADS) and deflects them from the target using a very powerful laser beam.
J-MUSIC is a distributed system, meaning that the LRUs can be installed in various locations on board the aircraft, enabling an optimised installation solution for protection of the aircraft and a cost-effective solution.
Elbit Systems says that the new system is specially designed to protect medium to large jets such as transporters, tankers, special mission platforms, business jets and others.
Relatively small numbers of aircraft, those that fly VIPs and those that perform critical missions, may create a market for the new version.
The technology is here. The market is currently relatively small.