Boeing will offer Elbit Systems-produced directed infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) equipment with all of its military and civil aircraft, under a new memorandum of understanding signed by the companies.

"Boeing is partnering with pioneering firms worldwide to bring advanced technology to our customers," says Roger Krone, president of the company's Network & Space Systems division. "Our relationship with Elbit is an example of how we are enhancing our portfolio with innovative capabilities for a variety of solutions."

The unit and Boeing Military Aircraft are "working together to integrate the systems on to new and existing aircraft, and to provide signature analysis and end-to-end services and support", the company adds.

The threat posed to aircraft by man-portable air defence systems has grown considerably during the past few years, a factor which prompted Elbit's Elop division to develop DIRCM equipment to protect fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. This has already been produced for integration with military, commercial and VIP transport aircraft.

Systems available include the Music design, which is suitable for use by helicopters including the AgustaWestland AW101 and turboprop transports such as the Alenia Aermacchi C-27J and Lockheed Martin C-130J. A J-Music version can protect heavy transports and tankers, plus VIP jets, and has been selected for Embraer's developmental KC-390.

Successfully flight tested recently using an Israeli air force Boeing 707 tanker, the C-Music system has been designed to defend large commercial aircraft and VIP transports from attack using infrared-guided weapons, and combines DIRCM equipment and a passive missile approach warning system within an aerodynamic pod.

C-Music has already been selected by the Israeli government to protect the nation's commercial airline fleets.

"We anticipate that this joint effort will provide the optimal solution for protecting our customers and creating synergistic value for both companies in this strategic and fast-growing market," says Elbit chief executive Joseph Ackerman.

Source: Flight International