img634049429989237057A helicopter carrying an anti-terror unit flies into the hot zone where terrorists are holding hostages. The terrorists are equipped with heat seeking shoulder launched missiles. This is a very realistic scenario. IMI has developed a new spectral flare that increases the survivability of helicopters in danger zones.

The new flare is smaller and lighter than the currently used and enables the helicopter to carry a larger number of flares which allows a longer and safer flight in the danger zone. IMI was ready to say that the new spectral flare weighs almost half of the currently used ones and is smaller, but was reluctant to give more details. IMI also refused to give details about the spectral feature of the new flare and just said that it is effective against “advanced threats”.

According to IMI, tests were performed with the new flares that are initially tailored for use on the Israeli air-force (IAF) COBRA helicopters.

Cobra helicopters are used by the IAF in missions over the Gaza strip where the Hamas guerilla organization is equipped with shoulder launched heat seeking missiles.

In 2010, IMI has partnered with Esterline Defense Technologies to produce and market IMI’s new advanced covert flares in the United States. These counter-measure decoy flares provide protection against various infrared guided missile threats at both low and high altitudes.

All the IMI flares have been developed by the company’s Rocket System Division.

Esterline is an established supplier of Infrared (IR) Decoy flares to the US Government, and the agreement will allow the Israeli company to enter the US market.

IMI is also manufacturing a “dark flare”, which is invisible to the human eye.

This flare was developed as part of an effort to equip passenger aircraft with systems that can protect against shoulder launched missiles and is used in the Israel aerospace industries (IAI) “Flight Guard” system.