BAE and Leonardo DRS to offer new threat warning system for US Army aircraft


BAE Systems and Leonardo DRS have teamed up to develop advanced threat detection capabilities for US Army aircraft.

Through the partnership, the companies will co-develop an advanced infrared-based threat warning system for fixed and rotary-wing aircraft that will meet current and evolving operational requirements for army aircraft survivability.

BAE Systems survivability, targeting, and sensing solutions vice-president and general manager Paul Markwardt said: “By merging Leonardo DRS’ extensive infrared sensors expertise with our proven threat warning capabilities, we’re able to offer survivability solutions not available today.

“Together, we can better protect our warfighters with technology that maximises both flare declaration as well as directional infrared countermeasure cueing, and then advance that capability toward universal threat protection.”

BAE Systems’ common missile warning system (CMWS) is currently installed on all the service’s fixed and rotary-wing aircraft.

The CMWS includes hostile fire indication, missile warning, and data recording capabilities. It can also detect small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades.

"By merging Leonardo DRS’ extensive infrared sensors expertise with our proven threat warning capabilities, we’re able to offer survivability solutions not available today."

The companies plan to improve CMWS capabilities by integrating Leonardo DRS’ high-performing infrared sensors specifically designed for the rotary-wing environment.

Leonardo DRS electro-optical and infrared systems vice-president and general manager Shawn Black said: “We offer an extremely advanced and accurate sensor that can take BAE Systems’ threat detection systems to the next level.

“Our long-range missile launch detecting capability provides crews with increased warning time, greatly improving their ability to respond and survive — and that is our ultimate objective.”

The partnership aims to provide military aircrews with enhanced protection from new and emerging threats.


Image: UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter flying with elevated threats. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.