It was only a decade ago when Department of Homeland Security (DHS) initiated the counter-MANPADS (man portable anti-aircraft missiles) program to protect commercial airliners from missile attacks. Now that Israel’s Elbit Systems has developed SkyShield – a technology that deflects missiles coming towards airliners from the ground.
This Multi-Spectral Infrared Countermeasure (MUSIC) device, which is mounted on an aircraft’s belly detects any incoming threats using an integrated thermal camera, then fires it with a fiber-laser based Directional Infrared Counter Measures (DIRCM) to reroute any infrared homing man-portable missiles, so it explodes at a safe distance away from the aircraft.
Brigadier General, Eitan Eshel, who is also the head of research and development at the Israel – Ministry Of Defense said testing of the SkyShield system was 100 percent successful.
The ministry described the system as the most advanced of its kind in the world, and this system would be used on all Israeli civilian aircraft. However, it is not known when it would become operational.
[Image Credit: Elbit Systems]