The MANTA system, a solution developed by Indra to protect aircraft from surface-to-air missile attacks, was tested by NATO with positive results. The system passed the tests during the recent EMBOW trials, which consist of exercises conducted by the Atlantic Alliance, an entity that has studied threats to air platforms and countermeasure technologies for over 30 years.
Trial EMBOW XIII has been conducted, from September 19th to October 14th 2011 in DGA Missiles Testing centre at Biscarrosse (France), and has been managed by France (Direction Generale de l'Armement)
The solution successfully passed the tests and proved its technology maturity and readiness to be implemented onboard aircrafts. The system achieved Technology Readiness Level 8, which certifies it is prepared to enter service and countermeasure MANPAD threats, that is, infrared missile launchers.
In order to ensure a successful participation of the MANTA DIRCM system at EMBOW, DGA and Indra have been working together in an effectiveness test program, conducted at DGA facilities, from May to September 2011. This program has exhaustively validated the MANTA DIRCM system with more than 130 tests and 20 flight hours, which imply a total of around 500 DIRCM protection trials (as every test includes several different MANPADS operating simultaneously).
MANTA DIRCM system has been integrated and certified cleared for flight in a DGA C-212 aircraft to perform the flight tests.
This important milestone is the culmination of a long technology development effort, in which Indra has been supported by the Spanish Ministry of Defence and INTA (Instituto Nacional de Tecnica Aeroespacial).
A shield against missiles
MANTA DIRCM is an aircraft self-protection system against IR guided missiles, mainly from the MANPADS family. Its operational sequence starts when an incoming missile is detected, and finishes when the missile is deviated by the DIRCM laser. The whole countermeasure process is completed in a very short time, being MANTA DIRCM system able to respond to the attack of simultaneous missiles due to the fact that it emits a jamming sequence that is effective against different missile seekers without requiring a prior identification. MANTA is the result of the collaboration between Indra and Rosoboronoexport.
MANPADS are guided Surface-to-Air Missiles, targeted at the infrared signature of the aircraft and easily operable (portable by one man). These artifacts are the main reason for military aircraft losses in conflict zones. MANPADS are a serious concern due to their enormous proliferation in hands of terrorist groups.
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