African country places $240 million defensive aids, electronics contracts


An undisclosed African country has ordered $240 million worth of defensive aids, communications and avionics equipment from Israel’s Elbit Systems.

Elbit on 26 September said the contract, which will be performed over a two-year period, is for Directed Infra-red Counter Measure (DIRCM) systems to protect aircraft from infrared-guided man portable air defence systems and includes Missile Warning Systems (MWS), radio and communication systems, land systems, mini-unmanned aerial vehicle systems and helicopter upgrades.

Bezhalel (Butzi) Machlis, Elbit Systems President and CEO, said: “We are proud to have won this contract, allowing us to provide our customer with a variety of systems and capabilities from different fields, a growing trend we have witnessed lately in many countries. Our unique structure enables the customer to benefit from the synergy of its overall capabilities while, at the same time, focus on its requirements. Our portfolio, based on cutting-edge technologies and operational know-how, allows us to customize our solutions and tailor them to our customer’s needs, and we hope others will follow this trend”.

The latest contract follows a $20 million deal announced in June from an African-based customer to equip a VIP Gulfstream G650 aircraft with J-MUSIC Directed Infrared Countermeasures systems that include Elbit Systems’ Infrared based Passive Airborne Warning System (IR PAWS). This contract is scheduled to take place over a one-year period.

Elbit’s flagship DIRCM system is its Multi-Spectral Infrared Countermeasures (MUSIC) system. It is designed to counter infrared guided surface-to-air missiles, and can be fitted to military and commercial aircraft. The system comprises a system processor, missile warning system, a thermal imaging camera for acquiring and tracking missiles and a fibre laser that blinds the missile’s sensors, either confusing the seeker away from the aircraft or overloading its sensors.

MUSIC has been produced in several variants, including the Commercial-MUSIC (C-MUSIC) system, J-MUSIC DIRCM system, aimed at medium to large aircraft, and Mini-MUSIC for small aircraft and helicopters.