Photo Credit: NSPA
Pilots from NATO Airbus A330 MRTT fleet inspecting the J-MUSIC DIRCM:

Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems announced Tuesday that it has signed a five-year in-service support contract with NATO.


Under the contract, Elbit will supply the Direct Infrared Counter Measures (DIRCM) systems to equip its Multinational Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) fleet of Airbus A330 planes. The DIRCM system has the capabilities to protect larger aircraft from the threats posed by infrared-guided missiles.

The contract includes the establishment of a service center at NATO’s Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) to provide support and logistics to the system.

The NSPA dedicated facility, located in Luxembourg, will provide the necessary expertise, equipment and maintenance for the MRTT fleet, which is to be equipped with the DIRCM system.

The center will provide repair, spare parts and maintenance services to ensure that all systems are operating at optimal levels.

In addition, Elbit was awarded a follow-up contract from NSPA for an additional J-Music system, part of the MUSIC DIRCM family.

The laser-based, fully autonomous system protects the fleet against advanced heat-seeking ground-to-air missiles. To date, seven systems are already integrated, certified and operational on NATO MRTTs.

“Demand for our DIRCM systems is growing due to increased threats posed to aircraft,” noted Oren Sabag, General Manager of Elbit Systems ISTAR & EW.

“The follow-on support contract and the new maintenance facility at NSPA builds on our excellent relationship with Elbit and to ensure optimal support to our MRTT fleet,” the NSPA’s MMF System Manager, Jan Der Kinderen added.

The Luxembourg Directorate of Defense pointed out that air-to-air refueling is an important asset to NATO and the European Union, adding that Luxembourg is a founding member of the Multinational Multirole Tanker Transport Unit (MMU), which provides global air-to-air refueling, air transport and aeromedical evacuation to all MMF partner nations.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.