Israel's El Op is developing a solid-state laser generator that will give the company's directed infrared countermeasures system greater lethality against a wider range of shoulder-launched missiles that might pose a threat to commercial and other aircraft.

According to El Op president Haim Rousso, the company's Multi-Spectral Infrared Countermeasures (Music) system, which is based on a unique fibre laser technology, has been proven fully, but he adds that "we will move to production only when we have a client".

The heart of the automated Music system is a laser generator carried in the cargo bay of the aircraft. The fibre laser technique allows El Op to use a small turret that houses the detecting and tracking sensor and the tip of the fibre that emits the laser beam to jam the incoming missile's infrared seeker.

El Op intends to test a version with a more powerful laser generator, allowing it to jam missiles with imaging seekers. According to Rousso, the more powerful laser will enable the system to destroy the "whole weapon" and not only the seeker.

This will make the Music system effective when used against unguided rockets that have become a threat to low-flying aircraft in the vicinity of airports.

Rousso says: "We are working on this added capability in the technological aspect only."

Source: Flight International