by Richard Tomkins
Tel Aviv, Israel (UPI) Nov 7, 2014
An autonomous system that protects aircraft from shoulder-fired missiles is to be installed on Israeli civilian aircraft.
The system from Elbit Systems Electro-Optic is called Flight Guard and uses thermal imaging and laser-fiber technology, which creates high-intensity laser beams, according to an announcement by the Israeli Air Force and Elbit Systems.
"Flight Guard is installed on the lower part of the aircraft and contains four sensors that enable detection, identification, tracking and, ultimately, disruption of the flight path of a missile fired in the direction of the flight path of a plane on which the system is installed," the Air Force said.
"The Flight Guard' works completely autonomously and like many payloads on aerial platforms, it is not subject to the control of the aircrews and they do not receive any information from it directly."
Tests on the system by Elbit, the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Transportation have been completed, and under contract Flight Guard will be installed on Israeli civilian aircraft, such as passenger planes.
"It is also intended to be installed on refueling and reconnaissance helicopters and jets," said Adi Dar, chief executive officer of Electro-Optic.
"This is one of the biggest experiments ever conducted in Israel," he said. The ministries "examined the system against all relevant threats, most of which I cannot elaborate on, but I can say that the system was successful in every scenario."
No information was provided as to when the system would be installed on aircraft.
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