The threat of ‘surface to air, shoulder launched missiles’ to aircraft on domestic flights in Israel, is very real. Many measures are being taken to minimize it. Elbit systems is adapting its C-Music countermeasures system against shoulder launched missiles to enable its use on small aircraft that perform domestic flights in Israel.
Two Israeli airlines, Arkia and Israir will have to phase out their ATR-42/72’s used for domestic flights, because they cannot carry the full size C-Music countermeasures system against shoulder launched missiles.
The Israeli civil aviation (CAA) authority notified the two airlines that since the ATR’s are too small for the C-Music, the type will have to be replaced.
The installation of the C-Music countermeasures system on Israeli passenger aircraft will begin soon. It will first be installed on the aircraft flying on international routes.
C-MUSIC is based on the MUSIC system, a direct infra-red countermeasure technology for military aircraft and helicopters that disrupts shoulder launched missiles fired at aircraft and causes them to veer off course by transmitting a laser beam.
Recent tests proved that the C-MUSIC is capable of rapid-response and can handle multiple threats.
The initial plan was to install the C-MUSIC on aircraft that fly on international routes. The situation in Egypt, that made the Sinai desert a terror base, brought the Israeli authorities to reconsider that plan.
The CAA notification to the two airlines is the official proof that the systems will be installed also on aircraft that operate domestic flights mainly on the Tel-Aviv – Eilat route. In some phases of the flight, the aircraft pass near the border.
Arkia operates 5 ATR-72, and Israir operates 3 ATR -42 and 2 ATR -72-500.
Arkia and Israir refused to comment.