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Israel tests anti-missile system for passenger planes

A Boeing photo

JERUSALEM (PTI): Israel has successfully tested a missile defence system to protect commercial planes from possible terror attacks by missiles, the defence ministry has said.

The Israeli defence ministry and Elbit Systems announced the successful completion of a trial programme of the C-Music system designed to protect passenger aircraft from the threat of shoulder-launched missiles.

The system, after detecting incoming missiles with an infrared sensor, fires a laser that disrupts the missile's navigation system and throws it off course away from its intended target.

C-Music was chosen by the Israeli Transportation Ministry to protect Israeli airliners.

"The experiments, carried out in southern Israel were some of the most complex and sophisticated ever carried out in Israel," the Defence Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

"They simulated a range of threats that the C-Music system will have to deal with," it added.

"C-Music is considered the most advanced system of its kind in the world, and will provide ultimate defence to planes," the ministry said, adding, "It combined advanced detection and disruption technologies, and meets the stringent requirements of commercial flight."

The Israeli Defence Ministry's Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure, the Israel Airports Authority, and Elbit Systems jointly developed the system.

"Hundreds of engineers took part in the development stage, and the product is at the end limit of detection and disruption technology," Brig Gen (res) Ophir Shoham, Head of the Defence Ministry's Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure, said.

"The success of the test has proven the system's qualitative capabilities and positions Israel as a global leader in the field of protection of aircraft against shoulder-launched missiles," Bezhalel Machlis, President and CEO of Elbit Systems said in his remarks.

Machlis also noted that the system has potential for both the commercial airliner and fighter jet markets, and that "Elbit Systems has already been awarded several orders from customers around the world, such as the Italian and Brazilian Air Forces."

Commenting on the long trial period the executive said that C-Music had to comply with international air safety standards, and allow planes carrying it "to land in every airport in the world."

In 2002, Islamic militants fired two surface-to-air missiles at an Israeli charter plane shortly after takeoff in Mombasa (Kenya), spurring an Israeli effort to improve countermeasures.


Israel  Missile  Planes  

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