Sunday, June 16, 2024

Elbit Systems to equip Canadian tanker aircraft with self-protection suites

Elbit Systems Ltd., the Israeli-based defense technology company, has been awarded a significant contract by Airbus Defense and Space.

The company’s press release revealed that the contract entails the supply of Direct Infrared Counter Measures (DIRCM) and Infrared (IR) Missile Warning Systems for installation on the MRTT A330 refueling aircraft intended for Canada. This deal, set to span five years, underscores the commitment to enhancing the defensive capabilities of these critical aircraft.

The DIRCM laser protection systems developed by Elbit Systems have amassed an impressive track record, accumulating hundreds of thousands of flight hours across numerous platforms. These systems offer sophisticated defense solutions tailored for aircraft navigating modern battlefields, ensuring enhanced protection against evolving threats.


Oren Sabag, General Manager of Elbit Systems’ ISTAR and EW division, expressed the company’s satisfaction with the partnership: “The decision by Airbus Defense and Space to continue equipping the MRTT A330 aircraft with our advanced defense solutions validate the quality and market leading technology of our solutions. Our DIRCM Self Protection Suite will provide the customer with advanced defensive solutions to bolster the security and operational advantage of the platforms and crew.”

This contract aligns with Canada’s efforts to fortify its defense capabilities. In July 2023, the Government of Canada awarded Airbus Defence and Space a substantial contract encompassing the procurement of four newly-built Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport aircraft (MRTT) and the conversion of five used A330-200s. Valued at approximately CAD $3 billion or 2.1€ billion (excluding taxes), this initiative seeks to strengthen Canada’s continental defense capabilities significantly.

The newly-built A330-200s are slated for assembly at the A330 aircraft Final Assembly Line in Toulouse, France. Their transformation into MRTT configurations is scheduled to commence in mid-2025 at A330 MRTT facilities in Getafe, Spain, with the initial MRTT delivery to the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) anticipated in 2027.

Elbit Systems’ role in providing cutting-edge defense solutions for these aircraft underscores the collaborative efforts aimed at ensuring the safety and strategic advantage of Canada’s defense operations.

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About author:

Emily Ryan Miller
Emily Ryan Miller
Emily Ryan Miller is an experienced journalist with excellent analytical skills and a deep understanding of military affairs. With her professional diligence and passion for the defense theme, Emily continues to inform the world about important aspects of the military sphere and deeply understands the significance of researching and tracking military events for the public and national security.