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Thu, Oct 16, 2003

Heavies Get Together to Address Airliner-Missile Threat

Raytheon Working With Israel Aircraft Industries' Elta Systems

Raytheon is working with Israel Aircraft Industries' Elta Systems in pursuit of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's program to equip commercial aircraft with missile protection systems.

The Raytheon/Elta system, dubbed "SafeFlight," is a unique, low cost solution combining Elta's missile approach warning system and Raytheon's countermeasure dispensing system. In operation, SafeFlight will detect an incoming missile and quickly divert it from the targeted aircraft.

The system operates independently, requires no pilot interaction or training, involves minimal maintenance, and is invisible from air or ground locations.

Both the missile warning and countermeasure subsystems have been proven in military application. Elta's missile warning system, part of its "Flight Guard" system already in operation on 150 military aircraft as well as on several commercial aircraft, is an advanced pulse Doppler radar proven operationally successful in 10 countries.

"Flight Guard," with the Elta radar, was recently selected by the Israel Ministry of Transportation to outfit Israel's commercial airliners.

Raytheon's infrared countermeasure, demonstrated successfully on U.S. Air Force transport and tactical aircraft, is designed to release invisible, environmentally safe material into the atmosphere to defeat infrared missile threats during takeoff and landing operations. SafeFlight is fully automatic, easy to install and maintain, and a lower cost alternative to competing technologies.

"SafeFlight represents a unique opportunity for Raytheon to apply its combat-proven military technology to the commercial marketplace," said Pat Hurley, vice president and general manager of Raytheon's Electronic Warfare Systems organization. "We look forward to playing a key role in the defense of our homeland, and we're especially proud to do it with a world-renowned and respected company such as Elta."

Israel Livnat, Israel Aircraft Industries' corporate vice president and president of Elta Systems, said, "We are eager to work with Raytheon on such an important program to protect American airliners. Our missile warning technology is second to none and will seamlessly integrate with Raytheon's infrared countermeasure capability for a highly effective system solution."

FMI: www.raytheon.com/; www.iai.co.il/site/en/homepage.asp

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