Elbit Systems has been awarded a contract to equip the Canadian Air Force’s A330 aerial refueling aircraft with cutting-edge self-protection suites.
As part of the deal, the company will provide its Direct Infrared Counter Measures (DIRCM) laser protection system and Infrared Missile Warning System to A330 manufacturer Airbus.
The move will provide the tanker aircraft with advanced protection against rapidly evolving threats.
“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,” Elbit Systems General Manager Oren Sabag said.
The company did not disclose the contract’s total value, but it said all work will be performed over a period of five years.
About the A330
The MRTT A330 is a new-generation refueler designed to meet the growing demand for aerial refueling capabilities.
It can carry up to 111 tons of fuel, extending the range of warplanes such as the F-16 and the F-35.
The aircraft can also carry out transport missions, with a maximum payload capacity of 45 tons, or up to 300 passengers.
It can also accommodate up to 40 stretchers, 20 medical staff, and 100 casualties for medical evacuation and emergency response.
In addition, the A330 can deploy four fighter aircraft plus 50 personnel to distances over 5,200 kilometers (3,231 miles).
Canada has ordered nine A330s under a 3.6-billion Canadian dollar ($2.7 billion) deal. The first DIRCM-equipped tanker aircraft is expected to arrive “within months.”