Tuesday, June 25, 2013

  • Tuesday, June 25, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
From the always amusing Middle East Monitor:
Egypt's Minister of Civil Aviation has said that Israeli passenger aircraft armed with offensive missiles will not be allowed to land at Cairo or other airports in the country. Engineer Wael El-Ma'dawi made his announcement after Israel's El Al Airline said that it plans to equip its aircraft with missiles to protect them from terrorist attacks.

In a press statement issued on Monday, the minister said, "This ban is not confined to Israeli aircraft but applies to all international airlines. Aircraft equipped with offensive missile capabilities will not be allowed to land in Egypt or enter Egyptian airspace." He did note, however, that aircraft armed with defensive missiles are different from those with offensive capabilities.

El Al suspended its flights to Egypt last year and has closed its office at Cairo International Airport. The move followed the drop in passenger numbers travelling between Israel and Egypt since the January 25 Revolution.
What are they talking about? Apparently, this:
Elbit Systems is presenting the newest member of the MUSIC Directional Infrared Countermeasure (DIRCM) systems at the 2013 Paris Airshow. Defense-Update reports.

The new, compact system dubbed ‘mini-MUSIC’ is designed to protect small rotary and fixed-wing aircraft against heat seeking Ground to Air Missiles (MANPADS) threats. In 2012 the company has demonstrated the C-MUSIC pod system in flight, mounted on a Boeing 707 flying testbed. More recently the system was installed on a Boeing 737 passenger jet to be used for type certification. The system has been selected for the Israeli national program for protection of Israel’s commercial fleet, installing MUSIC DIRCMs on Boeing B737, B747, B757, B767, B777 and Airbus A320 platforms. While all relevant aircraft will be fitted with the A-kit attachments, MUSIC DIRCM systems will be provided to those aircraft flying to high threat destinations or such locations reported to be high-risk, based on short-term assessments.


The proliferation of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, particularly with terrorist groups operation in Asia, Africa and Latin America has increased the demand for DIRCM, protection helicopters, medium and large transport planes, as well as VIP aircraft and heads of state transportation aircraft (VVIP). Several manufacturers are currently developing similar systems, including Northrop Grumman, Selex ES, BAE Systems and Raytheon – all developing lightweight DIRCM systems under the CIRCM . The Israeli system is considered the most mature of these systems.

...The system comprises a fiber-laser based DIRCM housed in a sealed turret for maximized reliability. A missile warning system provides the initial detection of incoming threats. When a threatening missile is detected, the warning is passed to the DIRCM that then directs a thermal tracker to acquire and track the threat. A powerful laser beam is then fired accurately at the missile causing it to be deflected away from the aircraft.
So the systems have no missiles! Egyptian authorities are so knowledgeable!

Previously, El Al has been using the Flight Guard which uses flares on some aircraft - and that is probably more dangerous.

(h/t JPMelamed)

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