The tests, which were conducted by the Israel Missile Defense Organisation (IMDO), the Civil Aviation Authority at the Ministry of Transport, and Elbit Systems, took place in the south of Israel aboard a Boeing 737 testbed.
The SkyShield system, uses a laser beam to deflect shoulder-launched missiles through jamming. Developing the system cost several hundred million shekels. Funded by Israel’s Transportation Ministry and managed by MoD in cooperation with Israel’s Civil Aviation Authority, SkyShield is the government’s belated response to a failed November 2002 attack in Mombasa, Kenya.
In that event, terrorists targeted an Israeli charter flight with SA-7 missiles that narrowly missed the aircraft and the 261 people on board.
Ministry of Defense director of R&D Brig. Gen. Eitan Eshel said, “The system provides a response to the threat of shoulder-launched missiles held by terror organizations and provides comprehensive protection for the planes on which it is installed.
The system allows identifying and jamming missiles shot towards planes using breakthrough technology and there are no similar such systems worldwide." Elbit Chief Executive Butzi Machlis said SkyShield is the product of complex development and rigorous testing whose capabilities are unrivaled on the global market.
“Hundreds of engineers worked on this program to optimize technologies and ensure its adaptation to the civilian environment,” he said. Plans call for equipping all aircraft operated by El Al, Israel’s national carrier, and its subsidiaries with the newly certified SkyShield system.