Army missile warning system advances

A missile warning system used to protect helicopters and tactical aircraft from infrared-guided weapons has passed a design review aimed at upgrading software used in the integrated warning system.

BAE Systems Electronic Systems unit (Merrimack, N.H.) said April 16 the review focused on integrating its Common Missile Warning System with other electronic defenses. The review examined the system's ability to accept data from both radars and laser warning receivers. The latter alerts pilots when they are being targeted by laser-guided missiles.

The Integrated Aircraft Survivability Equipment software update is intended to reduce the pilot's workload through a single interface for receiving missile warnings, BAE said.

The company claims the open system architecture would allow threat data to be distributed to multiple platforms without additional upgrades.

BAE is also promoting an upgrade to the Common Missile Warning System called the Enhanced Ultra-Violet Threat Warning Sensor. The EUV sensor is touted as being able to detect missile threats at longer ranges in harsher weather conditions. BAE also claims the upgrade can better distinguish targets from clutter and deploy countermeasures more accurately.

In January 2014, the Army awarded BAE Systems a $39 million contract to deliver more than 300 third-generation Common Missile Warning Systems. The Army wants to purchase 1,300 units that would be deployed on more than 1,000 Army aircraft. The system is currently being installed on Apache, Kiowa and Blackhawk helicopters stationed in Afghanistan.

About the Author

George Leopold is a contributing editor for Defense Systems and author of Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom."Connect with him on Twitter at @gleopold1.

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