20 Jan 2015
Asian Army selects Israeli arms firm's 'mini MUSIC' infrared system to protect its Blackhawk helicopters.
The electro-optics division of the Israel-based defense company Elbit Systems has won a contract to supply its “mini MUSIC” infrared countermeasures system to protect helicopters flown by an unspecified Asian country’s army.
The system, which is based around fiber laser technology, will be used on board Blackhawk helicopters – which Elbit says is a new application for the technology.
Adi Dar, general manager of Elbit’s “Electro-optics-Elop” subsidiary, said: "In addition to being selected by a new customer, this award represents the inclusion of a new platform, the Blackhawk, to the broad portfolio of platforms already equipped with our unique DIRCM systems including our MUSIC version for small platforms such as helicopters.”
Among the existing users of Elbit’s various “MUSIC” family of directed IR countermeasure (DIRCM) systems – designed to protect aircraft from ground-launched heat-seeking missiles - are a variety of Israeli commercial aircraft, as well the Italian and Brazilian air forces.
The German Air Force was also revealed to be a customer last November, and is using the multispectral “J-MUSIC” DIRCM system on board its Airbus A400 military transport planes.
Elbit says that the “mini” version is the newest of the various MUSIC systems. “These operationally proven systems integrate advanced fiber laser technology with an accurate, high rate thermal tracker and a small, highly dynamic mirror turret to provide effective, reliable and affordable protection to all types of aircraft, under all operational conditions,” states the firm.
Features include a sealed mirror gimbal for high reliability, a thermal camera for accurate acquisition and tracking, and a hyper-hemispherical dome for maximum coverage.
Designed for use on smaller aircraft, it weighs only 19 kilos and boasts a power consumption of less than a kilowatt.