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UAE to equip MRTTs with Israeli countermeasures

The UAE AFAD's fleet of five A330-200 MRTT aircraft is to be equipped with the Israeli-built J-MUSIC defensive aids and PAWS electronic warfare suites. (Airbus)

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is to equip its fleet of Airbus A330-200 MultiRole Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft with Israeli defensive aids.

Elbit Systems announced on 3 January that its recently established Elbit Systems Emirates subsidiary has been awarded USD53 million to supply the UAE Air Force and Air Defence (AFAD) with directed infrared countermeasure (DIRCM) and electronic warfare systems for its fleet of five MRTTs. The contract will be performed over a five-year period.

“Under the contract, Elbit Systems Emirates will deliver a multiturret configuration of the J-MUSIC [Multi-Spectral Infrared Countermeasures] self-protection system, together with the company's infrared-based Passive Airborne Warning System (PAWS), providing high levels of protection and redundancy,” Elbit said. To date, its DIRCM systems have accumulated more than 350,000 operational flight hours on more than 25 aircraft types, it added.

Elbit's MUSIC range of DIRCM systems work by detecting incoming threats via a missile approach warning system, before passing this information on to a thermal tracker that acquires and follows the threat. A laser beam is then fired at the missile, causing it to be deflected away from the aircraft. With the baseline MUSIC covering large aircraft and helicopters, J-MUSIC has been developed especially for large military aircraft, with mini-MUSIC covering smaller aircraft.

Elbit Systems recently reported the establishment of Elbit Systems Emirates during the Dubai Airshow in November 2021. “Elbit Systems views the UAE as an important market and believes that this contract award further highlights the technological advantage and maturity of the solutions offered by the company in this field,” the company said.

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