|Manufacturer:||I.M.I. Israel Military Industries Ltd|
|Product type:||Optronic Countermeasure Systems|
Two detection and early warning systems are fitted, the AMORCAM LWS-2 laser warning system (qv) and the Israel Military Industries PIANO (qv) passive electro-optical system.
The LIW-2 laser warning system has been produced by AMCORAM for some years and is standard equipment on the Israeli Merkava Mk 3 MBT. This has three systems installed on the turret to give full 360° coverage.
The LWS-2 system detects optical sources such as laser range-finders, laser target designators and infrared searchlights and provides the crew with an audiovisual analysis of the threat.
The commander's display unit determines the type of threat, giving a visual display of threat source using a clock dial system or a digital display. It also alerts the tank commander or other crew members with an audible alarm.
The complete LWS-2 system consists of three radiation sensors, a data processing unit, command, control and display unit, operator and test switches, an indicator and interconnecting wiring harnesses. There is also an RS-232 output to the tank's main computer.
Israel Military Industries stresses that the ARPAM is a modular system that can be tailored to meet users' specific operational requirements, for example a different laser warning system could be fitted.
Typically, the PIANO passive electro-optical system is mounted above the turret and is constantly scanning through a full 360°. It can detect incoming missiles and provide an exact direction of the threat.
The scanning rate of PIANO can be adjusted to suit the required protection level of every platform. Its passive design emits no electromagnetic or electro-optical signals that can be identified or tracked.
In addition to being used in the ground role, PIANO can also detect air-to-air missiles and ground-to-air missiles.
The response units are the Israel Military Industries POMALS (Pedestal Operated Multi-Ammunition Launching System) (qv) with multitube launchers for instantaneous smoke screening grenades and the Violin Mk 1 jammer.
POMALS consists of two pedestals which would normally be mounted one either side of the vehicle and are capable of being traversed to cover a full 360°. Each has six or more launch tubes which can launch smoke grenades, chaff and flares, decoys or other ammunition types with operation either being automatic or manual.
A typical salvo of three grenades would create a smoke screen in 2 seconds with a width of 50 m and a height of 8 m at a distance of 70 m from the MBT. This is sufficient to provide obscurement for a period of 30 to 90 seconds depending on a number of factors such as windspeed.
The Violin Mk 1 electro-optical jamming unit is claimed to be effective against missiles such as Raytheon Systems Company TOW and has been qualified for operation on MBTs under battlefield conditions.
Normally the Violin Mk 1 electro-optical jammer would be mounted on top of the MBT, below the PIANO and covering the frontal 180° of the turret where any likely attack is expected to come from. A second system could be fitted to give full 360° coverage if required. The Violin Mk 1 has recently been renamed Majic.
Information is fed from the LWS-2 and PIANO sensors to a central processor which selects the best response to defeat the threat.
For first-generation missiles, such as the Russian wire-guided AT-3 'Sagger', for example, it is envisaged that smoke grenade launchers would be used, while for second-generation missiles the electro-optical jammer would be used.
The LWS-2 and PIANO used in this system are also used in the POMALS system developed by Israel Military Industries.
Prototype system. Not yet in production or service.