Israel-headquartered Elbit Systems has announced a series of successful flight tests on a system designed to protect large jet aircraft against shoulder-launched ground-to-air missiles (Manpads, or man-portable air-defense systems). Designated C-Music, the defensive equipment was tested on board a Boeing 707.
C-Music, for commercial multi-spectral infrared countermeasures, is part of the company’s line of directed IR countermeasures (DIRCM) solutions for protecting all types of aircraft from heat-seeking ground-to-air missiles in all operational conditions.
Elbit says the systems integrate advanced fiber laser technology with a high-rate thermal camera and a small, highly dynamic mirror turret to provide effective, reliable and affordable protection against shoulder-launched missiles.
According to the company, Music systems are in production for several programs around the world for military, VIP and commercial aircraft. They are designed in an open architecture to be integrated easily on any type of aircraft.
Music can also protect helicopters and small to medium fixed-wing turboprop aircraft. The Italian air force has selected the system for installation (in dual turret configuration) on the C-130J and C-27J turboprops and the AW101 and CSAR helicopters.
J-Music is for the protection of large aircraft (heavy transporters, tankers, VIP jets and so on). This system uses the same DIRCM as C-Music and, according to Elbit, is easily integrated on any type of aircraft in a single- or dual-turret configuration. Embraer selected the J-Music system for its KC-390 military airlifter program in Brazil.
According to Elbit, C-Music is a complete self-protection solution (including the J-Music DIRCM and the PAWS IR missile warning system) installed in an aerodynamic pod and especially designed for the protection of civil and VIP large jets. The Israeli government selected the system, designed to meet the requirements of both commercial certification and protection of large aircraft, for the protection of that country’s entire airline fleet.