UK launches aircraft protection study
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Thales have signed a new research contract for technology that will improve the resilience of future UK aircraft to anti-air threats.
The jointly funded contract, worth £24.5 million, builds on research work conducted by Thales and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) to develop an infra-red warning system to detect missiles, gun fire and other threats so that appropriate countermeasures can be deployed.
According to a statement by Thales, the programme is being managed and delivered from the Defence Equipment and Support Air Technology Delivery organisation.
The technology demonstrator, scheduled to be completed in 2015, will prove that the system can identify and declare threats in complex environments with a high level of accuracy. It will use up to six single colour infra-red sensors to provide full coverage of the volume around the aircraft and use Thales algorithms on a central processor.
Testing at each stage of the development will use a bespoke evaluation and validation system. DSTL will conduct a series of ground and flight trials to assess the system’s performance in representative conditions.
‘The system’s sensors will also be capable of generating infra-red imagery from all around the aircraft to aid aircrew situational awareness and is designed to include data recording to support effective mission planning and post mission replay,’ the statement said.
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