Search and Rescue units like Israel's 669 and the US Air Force PJ's have one of the most vulnerable jobs in the military. They fly into war zones, almost as sitting ducks, in order to save their fellow warriors from threats that have already struck and may still be present.
Thanks to Sagiv Aharon, CEO of Duke Airborne Systems, these units may soon be equipped with a much more effective method of defense. He and his team are developing an automated weapons system to protect a helicopter and it's Pararescuemen when they are at their most vulnerable. Until now, the standard form of defense these units had was manually operated by an airman who was restricted in range. Duke Airborne Systems hope to provide “autonomous suppression fire over a panoramic targeting zone”.
Check out the video below to get a better understanding of how it works:
“There are helicopters like the Apache and other attack helicopters that their aim is to attack but I'm talking about protecting the aircraft," Aharon says. "You need to know where the target is and fire back as quickly as possible. And that is this unique solution that we give for search and rescue helicopters." The Duke system is also equipped with a range of sensors that can pinpoint the source of incoming fire.
This high-tech system is also designed to fit other platforms, including ground and marine vehicles, as well as airborne drones.
Duke Airborne Systems has created a potential breakthrough in aircraft weaponry that will substantially increase the confidence and survivability of Search and Rescue units.
Unit 669, is the IDF’s elite Combat, search and rescue unit. Tasked with extraction, recovery and medical treatment of injured soldiers, combat pilots and civilians. Their specialties include helicopter extraction and infiltration, rappelling, fast roping, scuba diving and counter-terrorism.They are Israel’s guardian angels and heroes from the sky. They will not rest until everyone is brought home and accounted for.