The Defense Ministry and Elbit Systems announced on Wednesday the successful completion of a trial program to test a missile defense system for commercial airlines.
The C-Music (known in Israel as Sky Shield) system is designed to protect passenger aircraft from the threat of shoulder-launched missiles.
After detecting incoming missiles with an infrared censor, it fires a laser that disrupts the missile’s navigation system and throws it off course, away from its target.
The Transportation Ministry has chosen C-Music to protect Israeli airliners.
The Defense Ministry’s Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure, the Israel Airports Authority, and the Haifa-based Elbit Systems jointly developed the system.
“The experiments, carried out in southern Israel, were some of the most complex and sophisticated ever carried out in Israel,” the Defense Ministry said. “They simulated a range of threats that the C-Music system will have to deal with,” it added.
“C-Music is considered the most advanced system of its kind in the world, and will provide ultimate defense to planes,” the ministry continued. “It combined advanced detection and disruption technologies, and meets the stringent requirements of commercial flight.”
Brig.-Gen. (res.) Ophir Shoham, head of the administration, said hundreds of engineers took part in the development, and that the product was at the “end limit of detection and disruption technology.”
Bezhalel “Butzi” Machlis, president and CEO of Elbit Systems, said, “The success of the test has proven the system’s qualitative capabilities and positions Israel as a global leader in the field of protection of aircraft against shoulder- launched missiles.”
The system has potential for both the commercial airliner and fighter jet markets, he said, adding that “Elbit Systems has already been awarded several orders from customers around the world, such as the Italian and Brazilian air forces.”
The trial period was lengthy because C-Music has to comply with international air safety standards, and allow planes carrying it “to land in every airport in the world,” Machlis said.