The Only Commercial Airline That Has An Anti-Missile Defence System

Flying in the (not so) friendly skies...

Israeli Airlines installed an anti-missile defence system in its planes to protect them from surface air missiles in 2004. The technology has since been updated, but the anti-missile defence system is still in place. It remains the only commercial airline that has an anti-missile defence system.


With everything that’s going on around the world at the moment, you might be surprised to know that the only commercial airline in the world that has an anti-missile defence system is Israeli Airlines. This tidbit of information was brought to our attention by points hacker Immanuel Debeer. Posting on his Instagram Story during one of his various recent escapades, Debeer wrote: “EI AI is the only commercial airline to equip an anti-missile defence system in its planes.”

“Handy feature these days I’m sure.”

Immanuel Debeer

According to Air Live, Israel’s EI Airline installed antimissile systems on commercial jets in 2004, based on Israeli airforce “flight guard” technology. This was a radar system which picked up incoming missiles and ejected flares to confuse and deflect them. The aircraft this system were installed on were travelling over hostile territories in Africa, the Middle East and India.

@flighthacks’ Instagram story. Image via Instagram.

Per Air Live: “When a plane comes under attack, the system responds by firing flares that are designed to divert the heat-seeking missiles. More specifically, the planes will be equipped with a Doppler radar system (a radar system that uses the doppler effect to produce velocity data about objects at a distance).”

“This radar system is made up of four antennas; one at the front, two at the sides, and one at the back which gives 360-degree radar coverage around the aircraft.”

Air Live

It doesn’t end there though. Also according to Air Live, some aviation officials weren’t too happy about the system, and called it a fire hazard. So engineers came up with a new technology called C-Music system. This system sits on the bottom of planes and – instead of ejecting flares – “try[s] to throw off the sensor on a heat-seeking missile by pointing a laser at the weapon sensor drawing it off course,” Air Live reports.

Image Credit: ABCnews.go.com

This system is fully automated – if any missiles get close enough to get on the anti-missile radar, a laser beam is fired at the missile, deflecting it away from the plane – and the pilot actually gets the information about the attack once the threat is over.

The more you know… Now all we need is an annoying passenger ejection system and we’ll be right.

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