The Finnish Air Force’s F-18 Hornet aircraft will be fitted with Saab countermeasure dispenser systems to protect from guided missiles and rockets.

The BOL dispenser systems protect the aircraft from heat-seeking and radar-guided missiles by using wingtip vortices to distribute the chaff and IR payload and to rapidly form a protective cloud.

The system eliminates the need for pyrotechnics, making it quicker, easier and safer to load.

The BOL dispenser systems will be installed as a part of the Hornet mid-life upgrade 2 (MLU2) programme to improve F-18’s electronic warfare self-protection capability.

The BOL system configuration for F/A-18s increases the amount of countermeasure payload carried by each aircraft, improving the chances of surviving missile threats.

Each system holds 160 chaff or IR packages that is five times more than that contained by conventional dispensers.

Under the $19.6m integration and production contract, the Finnish Air Force will take delivery of the systems and services from 2009 to the end of 2011.