Israel Aerospace Industries has introduced an innovative electronic warfare system designed to protect a variety of aircraft against surface-to-air missiles.The ELL-8270, – which was developed by the ELTA division of IAI – utilizes a towed decoy as “bait” when an aircraft in flight is in danger of being struck by enemy missiles.The decoy is towed at a safe distance from the aircraft. By means of a transponder, it diverts any incoming missile away from the plane to prevent the craft itself from being hit.The device is a completely autonomous, lightweight system that requires minimal pilot control. The battery-operated decoy is dragged by a simple tether from the aircraft and can be reeled back into the plane after it has been deployed or discarded if necessary.The system, which is active only when a hostile missile threatens the aircraft, can deal with multiple threats simultaneously.While the decoy is not meant to replace other layers of protection for the aircraft, it does provide a final layer of defense if a missile is launched toward the plane. The expense of the system is said to be relatively low compared to other in-flight defense devices.ELTA has designed other aerial self-defense systems, including the ELL-8251 Escort Jammer and the ELL-8212 and ELL-8222 self-defense jamming pods. Those items have been designed for installation on fighter aircraft but can also be installed on a variety of aircraft, either configured internally or as a pod.