Saab Unveils Cool Countermeasures

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Saab Avitronics says it has successfully tested a missile defense system aimed at the civilian market that doesn’t use white-hot magnesium to confuse the heat-seeking heads on Man Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS) missiles. The potential collateral damage from the hundreds of flaming flares used in most military countermeasures has been a stumbling block to their integration on civilian aircraft but Saab says its Civil Aircraft Missile Protection System (CAMPS) changes all that. “The focus of CAMPS is to meet the requirements for civilian, VIP as well as special mission aircraft,” Saab says. “This includes system safety, costs and operational aspects of this type of system which are more pronounced than for the military environment.” The Saab system dispenses non-pyrotechnic decoys made by British-based Chemring Countermeasures. Just how they work isn’t clear (perhaps understandably so) from Chemring’s Web site, but work they do, apparently. Saab said it did the test at a military range in South Africa using an Embraer EMB-120 supplied by Naturelink Aviation. The South African charter company is planning to install the systems on its aircraft and might be equipped in a year or so if trials continue to go well.