Cassidian, the defence and security division of EADS, has developed an intelligent system for the protection of civil aircraft against attacks by missiles of the MANPADS type (Man-Portable Air-Defense Systems), which will allow aircraft to fly over crisis areas, to take off and land on civil airports and also to fly in civil airspace.
As reported by the company, following extensive investigations, the aviation authorities EASA and LBA have now given a positive answer to a preliminary query submitted by Cassidian, which means that the system now can be integrated into aircraft of the size of business jets, outside of scheduled traffic. This particularly concerns aircraft operators which offer air transport to crisis areas on behalf of governments or aid organisations and which are particularly exposed to attacks by light IR-guided missiles, the so-called MANPADS.
Cassidian’s solution features a modified version of its military missile defence system AMPS (Airborne Missile Protection System), which detects the UV radiation of approaching missiles and launches flares so as to divert the missile’s seeker head. The system only requires minor modifications to the aircraft’s architecture and also allows pyrotechnic flares to be taken along, while the aircraft can preserve its civilian status. This means that AMPS, which previously was reserved to military customers only, will now also be available to all civil aircraft operators, which want to protect their crews and passengers in crisis areas against attacks by MANPADS.
Generally, the use of civil airports and airspaces by aircraft equipped with military systems is very much restricted, which results in such aircraft operators’ operational flexibility being heavily limited as the civil infrastructure may not be used.
AMPS offers an extremely low false alarm rate and maximum warning time. On board almost 200 military helicopters and aircraft, the system has proved to provide excellent protection against the widespread danger by IR-guided missiles. It is based on the missile warning sensor MILDS AN/AAR-60 (Missile Launch Detection System) and on MILDS F AN/AAR 60 (V), a special variant for jet aircraft. With several thousand MILDS sensors in operational use, Cassidian is the market leader in this segment outside the USA.
Date: Jun 19, 2013