The threat of missile attacks on commercial and military aircraft has been testing engineers at Israel's Elisra Group. But the company has now proven a system that could protect commercial aviation in the same way it defends fighter jets and helicopters.

The revolutionary infrared-based missile warning system (MWS) for fighter aircraft, named PAWS-2, has proven its effectiveness in stringent testing carried out with Israeli Air Force (IAF) F-16 fighters.

Throughout these tests, PAWS-2 demonstrated its ability to detect and track potential targets against the landscape across which the F-16 was flying.

Field tests continue and will be performed as part of a risk reduction plan until the F-16Is on which PAWS-2 will be installed arrive in Israel.

Its predecessor, PAWS-1, works on the same principle. Designed for helicopters, it has proven its capabilities in operational service.

Elisra is showing its integrated airborne self-protection system for helicopters at Asian Aerospace and is talking to commercial airlines about its civil applications.

The Group's IR missile warning system is suitable for use on board a variety of platforms, including commercial airliners, which now face the constant threat of shoulder-fired missile attacks.

But it will be the F-16 system that could be attracting the attention of military delegations visiting the show

"PAWS-2's performance in the latest round of tests carried out by the IAF, along with the IAF's decision to purchase our missile warning system for their front-line attack fighters, has attracted the interest of several armed forces," says Danny Biran, chairman and chief executive of the Elisra Group.

"The system is in demand, and we anticipate substantial orders. PAWS-2's capabilities and relevance to today's escalating threats make it a highly viable choice for modern air forces.


"Furthermore, since the system provides a very wide field-of-view infrared image, we are in the process of developing by-product applications, which eventually will enhance the F-16 fighters' capabilities."

PAWS-2 was designed and developed specifically to protect fighters from SAMs and MANPADs and is the first infrared system to be installed and prove its ability to improve F-16 survivability in missile-dense environments.

Offering passive detection in the infrared spectrum, PAWS-2 is unique in that it provides multiple-threat detection, tracking, and threat discrimination, while operating in the rush environment conditions of the F-16.

The system uses sophisticated algorithms for image and signal processing.

By tracking the missile's trajectory, PAWS discriminates between threatening and non-threatening missiles.

When it detects a threatening missile, PAWS-2 automatically alerts the pilot with a warning signal and activates countermeasures while also supplying accurate information to defensive infrared countermeasures.

PAWS-2 supplies threat information to other EW systems as part of an EW suite, as well as to avionics subsystems. It can also operate as a stand-alone system.

"With full spherical coverage, a fast reaction time, high detection range at all altitudes, very low false-alarm rate, and immunity to host platform weapons and flare launches, PAWS-2's features support the mission objectives of modern fighter aircraft squadrons," Biran says.


Source: Flight Daily News