"Heat traps": device and purpose

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"Heat traps": device and purpose
"Heat traps": device and purpose

Throughout its history, mankind has constantly modernized the methods of conducting military operations. The airspace has become an environment that can be effectively used to solve ground combat missions. In an effort to protect themselves from air strikes, military engineers invented air defense systems. As it turned out, air defense is not able to provide one hundred percent protection against attacks from the sky if there are "heat traps" on the planes. What are these devices? What are they for? Information about the "heat traps" of fighters is presented in the article.

what are heat traps on airplanes


"Heat traps", or false heat targets (LTTs), are special pyrotechnic devices. They got this name because when the fuel is burned, they are able to release large amounts of heat.

About device

The heat trap is a smalla box containing a combustible substance. It can also be in the form of a checker. For "heat traps" pyrophoric and pyrotechnic combustible compositions are provided. Structurally, the LTC is very similar to signal and lighting rockets.

About location

Special holders or launchers became the place for the installation of the LTC on board the aircraft. The professional military refer to them as "reset machines" or "jamming machines". When pointing air defense systems at a fighter, the pilot shoots "heat traps". The onboard defense complex is associated with launch systems. In some aircraft, this function is automated, and the launch is carried out without the participation of the pilot.

About purpose

The task of "heat traps" is to create a false target for enemy air defense systems. Military engineers have developed several options for special projectiles used by aircraft guns. Since a high-temperature combustible mixture is provided for such projectiles, a large amount of heat is released during its combustion. Air defense missiles operate according to the program laid down for them to respond to thermal signals in the sky. Since a large amount of thermal energy is released as a result of the combustion of both pyrophoric and pyrotechnic compositions, the air defense missile automatically reconfigures from the aircraft to a more powerful heat source, which is the LTC.

On the relevance of using BKO

Airborne defense systems (ADS) have found their wide application in both military and civil aviation. Before the implementation of complexesplanes and helicopters, both were subjected to intense attacks by terrorist groups. According to experts, the situation escalated especially after the looting of military depots in Libya. Despite the assumption that the stolen weapons would eventually be used by the rebels against the existing government, it could not be ruled out that some of them would still fall into the hands of terrorists. It soon turned out that five thousand units of portable anti-aircraft missile systems really did not reach the rebel army.

shooting heat traps

After assessing the current situation, American intelligence officers and analysts came to the conclusion that the total number of air defense systems not recorded anywhere is at least 150 thousand. In 2015, the onboard defense complex "President-S" from the Russian concern "Radioelectronic Technologies".


The task of the BKO "President-S" is to protect an aircraft or helicopter from attacks by aviation missiles, anti-aircraft missiles and anti-aircraft artillery guns. BKO are special devices and stations that detect a threat in the form of a missile attack and warn the crew about it.

bko president s

In addition to launching a one-time decoy, "President-S" forms active radio and optoelectronic interference. For the equipment of this LTC, an internal and external arrangement is provided. Protection against guided missiles fired from the ground and air-to-air missilesprovided by a laser station, which, using a multispectral or gas laser, performs optical-electronic suppression. The mass of the station is 150 kg. "President-S" performs the detection, selection and tracking of the target with its subsequent suppression. According to experts, the “heat trap” is capable of simultaneously responding to two attacking missiles.

With the help of a radioactive interference station, the aircraft becomes invulnerable to missiles using radar guidance systems. In this case, the LTC exposes electronic interference at the first stage of aircraft detection by a missile. The mass of the station is just over 50 kg. Its tactical and technical characteristics are sufficient to simultaneously suppress four enemy electronic equipment at once.

After repeated shelling of aircraft equipped with "heat traps" from Igla anti-aircraft missile systems, superior to the American "Stingers" in their characteristics, it became obvious that the "President-S" is a very effective example of the Russian LTC.

fighter heat traps

Despite the presence of maximum infrared radiation from the target aircraft, all missiles fired at it on the very approach "left" to the side. The explanation for this was the use of laser irradiation in the President-S BKO, which enemy missiles mistook for a real aircraft.

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