JERUSALEM — Elbit Systems this week announced it has signed a five-year contract with NATO’s Support and Procurement Agency to establish a service center for the Direct Infrared Counter Measures mounted on transport aircraft.

The company said the contract provides for support and logistics to the DIRCM system, which has been installed on NATO’s Multinational Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft fleet. The system protects aircraft against ground-to-air missiles.

NATO is the second customer to be equipped with these maintenance capabilities, a company spokesperson said. Elbit declined to provide a value for the contract or say name the other customer for this type of service contract.

Israeli defense companies frequently opt not to identify their customers due to security and other reasons.

According to the company, the service center at NSPA’s facility in Luxembourg will be “equipped to provide comprehensive support to the NATO MRTT fleet equipped with the DIRCM system.”

”The center will provide repair, spare parts and maintenance services to ensure that all systems are operating at optimal levels,” the company said.

Elbit signed its first contract with NSPA in May 2017 for the protection of the first two MRTTs of NATO.

This is the 10th system that will be delivered to this customer. Seven of the systems have already been “integrated, certified and operational on NATO MRTTs,” the company said. “The laser-based fully autonomous system provides comprehensive protection against advanced heat-seeking ground-to-air missiles.”

A company source also noted Elbit expects “this contract will lead additional customers in NATO to [be] equipped with our DIRCM SPS and the Maintenance Centre in Luxembourg will support this future growth of additional systems.”

Seth J. Frantzman is the Israel correspondent for Defense News. He has covered conflict in the Mideast since 2010 for different publications. He has experience covering the international coalition against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, and he is a co-founder and executive director of the Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis.

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