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The US plans to defend its aircraft with a mysterious system of “interceptors”

The US Navy announced its intention to order the development of new self-defense aircraft for aircraft that can shoot down enemy missiles that approach aircraft. According to Flightglobal, these systems will use “interceptors”.

Modern systems of self-defense of aircraft against missile attacks are divided into several types, none of which involves the destruction of missiles. In some aircraft, infrared modulated radiators, which cut the course of a missile with thermal imaging guidance systems, can be used. Missiles with optical guidance systems can be “blinded” by intense laser beams. The self-defense systems also include false thermal targets, radio-electronic emitters and dipole reflectors.

MRZR at Ft Sill LEAD
This is the Raytheon laser dune buggy, a solid-state laser combined with an advanced variant of the company’s Multi-Spectral Targeting System of sensors, installed on a small, all-terrain Polaris militarized vehicle. Coupled with a generator, the HEL weapon system provides military members with counter-UAV capabilities and a virtually unlimited magazine. (Monica K. Guthrie, PAO, U.S. Army)

The development of the new self-defense system with interceptors will be carried out within the framework of the HKSPCS (Hard Kill Self-Protection Countermeasure System). It is planned to be used mainly on military transport aircraft C-130 Hercules / Super Hercules, as well as on commercial aircraft used by the military, including the Boeing 707, 737, 757 and 767, as well as the DC-10.

According to the requirement of the military, the new system must be created in two versions. The first would be a system with a mass of no more than 1.04 tons, installed inside the fuselage. The second option is a suspension container weighing 0.4 to 1.3 tons, which contains enough means to counteract from 4 to 10 missiles. Other details about the future system have not yet been disclosed. In particular, it is not clear exactly what the term “interceptors” means.

Similar to tank systems

It is possible that it could be the aerial analogue of the active defense system that the tanks have.

In the most general case, an active tank defense system. This system consists of a radar station and an installation for firing elements, usually metal balls. When a missile is detected, said system follows it. When the missile approaches the tank, the system shoots balls to that direction, destroying it. These systems are being used in Israeli Merkava tanks.

forty-five-down_body_img_lg_0
The directed energy system emits an adjustable energy beam that, when aimed at airborne targets such as drones, renders them unable to fly. (Monica K. Guthrie, PAO, U.S. Army)

Recently, the US Army conducted tests of a buggy with a combat laser in conditions close to the battle. According to a  statement from the American company Raytheon, which developed the vehicle, the buggy tests were carried out during army training at the Fort Sill base in Oklahoma, USA. During the laser tests, 12 unmanned aerial vehicles were shot down.

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