Two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters hover over the skies of Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, on Dec, 24, 2011.
BAE Systems has won an agreement to deliver the Army with the interim missile warning system for helicopters in the deal worth approximately $98 million.
The Limited Interim Missile Warning System (LIMWS) is intended to offer more capability as opposed to Army’s current system, the Common Missile Warning System (CMWS), which BAE Systems has supplied since 2005, Cheryl Paradis, products director for optical electronic warfare systems at BAE Systems, told us on the Army Aviation Association of America.
Over 30 different aviation platforms are fielded with CMWS to incorporate all of the Army’s fleet of combat helicopters.
The Army competitively awarded the interim system to BAE by way of a Quick Reaction Capability (QRC) mechanism that provides methods to bypass the traditional lengthy acquisition process.
BAE’s solution includes its 2-Color Advanced Warning System (2C-AWS), that is the most critical improvement in LIMWS with regards to the capability to progress detection from the threat along with the [infrared] domain,” Paradis said.
The company developed it with Leonardo DRS, which is supplying the 2-color IR sensor.
Initially the device will go on as much as 400 Black Hawks, in accordance with the contract, but there’s possible the Army could expand the LIMWS to other platforms before it gets to fielding its future system, the Advanced Threat Detection System (ATDS), Paradis said.
The Army has been working closely to understand emerging threats, from proliferation to actual technical aspects. Additionally, technology is improving within the missile warning system world, and the service decided it absolutely was essential to field an interim solution in front of ATDS, based on Col. John Lee, the Army’s program manager for Aircraft Survivability Equipment (ASE).
Procuring LIMWS is “important when you need to bring the latest technologies for the aircraft even as we work the objective program of record, that’s ATDS, for the reason that velocity in the program requirements, we need to have these capabilities in the field in certain parts with the world, not everywhere,” he told us at AAAA. “But that’s the principle purpose of the LMWS which can be the bridge towards the ATDS.”
It’s projected an ATDS competition likely won’t happen until the early 2020s.
The Army moved quickly to obtain an interim system, going from requirements to a contract award in roughly 200 days.
The get proposals was launched inside the summer of 2017 as well as the Army awarded the contract to BAE in December 2017.
“We are four months in it,” Paradis said, and BAE is with a way to field the 1st unit equipped inside the first quarter of 2020. There is a number of interim milestones to offer prototypes and the company expects to get started on testing those prototypes within the third quarter on this year.
The Army has additionally found a way to convert CMWS to LIMWS a single to two weeks, Lee said, by overlaying the LIMWS fiber on top in the CMWS system, replacing the sensor with an all new sensor and replacing the processor once you get your processor “essentially minimizing the touch points around the aircraft.”