More and more VIP transports are being equipped with protection from shoulder-launched missiles.
Today, 95% of the potential threats to civil and military aircraft are from these deadly hand-held weapons, which are easy to use and obtain.
In the 1990s the threat was 50% from radar-directed weapons and the rest from shoulder-launched.
Given this changing scenario, you would expect that more aircraft in civil use would be provided with the available protection. But Israeli sources say that because of the state of the airline business, only state funding would change the picture. “Airlines will not even consider equipping their fleets with these protective systems,” says an Israeli source.
The Israeli government has decided to equip Israeli passenger aircraft with the system that has been developed by Elbit Systems.
The performance of this programme is now classified, but sources say it is “on schedule”.
The Elbit Systems Commercial Multi-Spectral Infrared Countermeasure (C-MUSIC) system performed a series of successful flight tests on board a Boeing 707 aircraft.
According to the company, the system, designated to protect large jet aircraft against shoulder-launched missiles, successfully performed all the necessary functions.