The military has initiated plans to develop a protective shield for its
helicopters amid concern that shoulder-to-air missiles will be fired in large
numbers at Israel Air Force aircraft in a future war.
The new system –
Fliker – is under contract by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and successfully
intercepted a rocket- propelled grenade in its first test
Fliker is designed to serve as the second layer of defense for
helicopters and will be activated when automatic flares fail to divert an
Fliker’s unique launcher can rotate in the direction of
missile projection and fire an interceptor in defense. The interceptor is
designed to minimize debris and thereby reduce the risk that shrapnel will hit
and damage the aircraft.
In recent years and in the face of a similar
threat, the IAF has modified its flight plans over the Gaza Strip and southern
Lebanon due to intelligence reports that both Hamas and Hezbollah have obtained
a significant number of shoulder- to-air missiles.
Hamas, for example, is
believed to possess a significant number of Russian-designed shoulder-fired
missiles, obtained from Iran and Libya.
Hezbollah has many shoulder-
to-air missiles, according to the IAF. Israel is also concerned about reports
that the organization might have the SA-8 – a Russian tactical mobile truck that
offers a surface-to-air missile system with a range of 30
During the Second Lebanon War in 2006, Hezbollah shot down a
Yasour (Sikorsky CH- 53) transport helicopter in Lebanon, killing its
The Defense Ministry considered using the Trophy active protection
system, which is installed on Merkava Mk 4 tanks in order to deflect antitank
The Trophy system, however, was found to be incompatible with
helicopters since it fires off a cloud of countermeasures that could damage the
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