Elbit Systems has installed its first C-Music directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) system on an El Al Boeing 737-800 passenger aircraft.
Designed to protect large jet aircraft from attacks using shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), the C-Music technology was recently proven to be effective during a series of successful flight tests conducted using a Boeing 707.
The C-Music system will be carried while the El Al aircraft is being operated on particular routes served by the airline. Israeli interest in the equipment was sparked following a missile attack on a civilian airliner being flown by Arkia in Mombasa, Kenya, in 2002, and the threat posed by SAMs has grown considerably over the last few years. El Al is receiving self-protection equipment via a programme named "Sky Shield".
Suitable for integration with other commercial aircraft and business jets, the pod-housed C-Music is a self-contained system capable of detecting an incoming missile threat, before directing a high-powered laser at the weapon's seeker head to divert it away from its intended target.
Speaking at the Paris air show on 18 June, Elbit chief executive Bezhalel Machlis said the company is seeing "a lot of interest" in its Music series of DIRCM turrets, "both from the military and commercial markets".