Israeli DIRCM laser to protect German A400M transport planes

Set to receive the first MUSIC systems by 2015, the German Atlas would be the first A400M to fly with a DIRCM system

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Airbus Military A400M demonstrates the release of decoy flares. Photo: Airbus Military
Airbus Military A400M demonstrates the release of decoy flares. Photo: Airbus Military
Airbus Military A400M demonstrates the release of decoy flares. The A400 currently integrates a defensive aids systems comprising RF and IR warning systems and Chaff/Flare dispensers. The J-MUSIC will represent the first DIRCM to be integrated into the European transport plane, providing more effective countermeasure against advanced air defense threats. Photo: Airbus Military

Diehl announced it plans to combine Elbit System´s J-MUSIC (Multi-Spectral Infrared Countermeasure) system into a multi-turret Directed Infrared Counter Measure (DIRCM) system to be integrated into the german A400M Atlas military transport, ensuring complete 360° protection of the aircraft. Diehl and Elbit Systems have signed an exclusive cooperation agreement at the recent ILA Berlin airshow, to equip the Bundeswehr´s Airbus A400M transport aircraft with its self-protection system. J-MUSIC was designed to protect large military and commercial aircraft against man portable infra-red guided anti-aircraft missiles (MANPADS) employed by terrorists worldwide.

The J-MUSIC fiber-laser DIRCM will be part of the self protection suite protecting the german A400M Atlas transport aircraft. Photo: ELbit Systems
The J-MUSIC fiber-laser DIRCM will be part of the self protection suite protecting the german A400M Atlas transport aircraft. Each A400M will be fitted with two MUSIC laser-countermeasure units, providing  360 degrees protection for  the aircraft. Photo: Elbit Systems

In recent months Elbit Systems completed extensive testing of the fiber-laser based J-MUSIC and its the podded version C-MUSIC systems, and has delivered systems to equip several aircraft for customers this year. Several variants of the MUSIC system and modules were already selected to protect the Italian Air Force Lockheed Martin C130J and Alenia Aermacchi C27J military transports and AgustaWestland AW101 CSAR helicopters, as well as the Brazilian Embraer C390 military transports. The cooperation with Diehl further extends Elbit Systems’ access to military and commercial aircraft fleets. In 2013 Boeing and Elbit Systems have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding offering Elbit Systems’ Directed Infrared Counter Measure (DIRCM) systems for a range of Boeing military fixed-wing and vertical-lift aircraft.

By adapting the Israeli solution Diehl will be able to meet the Bundeswehr schedule with operationally-ready DIRCM solution for the A400M in 2015

By adapting the Israeli solution Diehl will be able to meet the Bundeswehr schedule with operationally-ready DIRCM solution for the A400M in 2015. Germany is expected to operate 53 A400Ms positioned to become the largest operator of the Atlas; the first aircraft is currently in assembly and will be delivered to the customer in November 2014.
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The first A400M Atlas has been delivered to the French Air Force in 2013, followed by the delivery to the Turkish Air Force earlier this year. The RAF is British Royal Air Force will be next, followed by the German Air Force, both receiving their first Atlas this year.

The current intention of the participating nations is to procure a total of 170 aircraft with delivery schedule extending to 2024. Of the 170 aircraft Germany 53, France 50, Spain 27, Turkey 10, UK 22, Belgium 7 and one for Luxembourg. Malaysia has also ordered four aircraft, with deliveries commencing in 2015. Airbus is expecting a second export order to be signed in 2014.

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