The existing system consists of infrared choppers that "confuse" the heat-seaking missiles.
El Al will start installing an Israeli-developed antimissile system on its aircraft in Dec. "beginning with one Boeing jet," according to Tel Aviv daily Haaretz.
If the experiment proves successful, six other aircraft will be fitted with the system, the newspaper said in an unsourced report in its online edition Wednesday. Reportedly, El Al ultimately plans to equip its entire fleet with the devices.
The antimissile system is called Flight Guard and costs about $1 million per aircraft to install. It was developed by Israel Military Industries together with Elta Systems, a subsidiary of Israel Aircraft Industries. It is unclear whether the Israeli government will chip in to help cover the heady cost of refitting the El Al aircraft. The state no longer holds a stake in the privatized airline.
Flight Guard is designed to respond automatically to an approaching heat-seeking missile, firing flares that act as decoys and divert the missile. Israeli military aircraft have been using the system for years for flights under threat from heat-seeking antiaircraft and air-to-air missiles.
IMI has been working to increase the capability of the Flight Guard flare system and adjust it for use by civilian aircraft. Unlike those used on military aircraft, its flares cannot be discerned by the human eye when fired. This was an essential feature to avoid panic among passengers if they saw flares being fired
I scratch my head, therefore I am.