New deal to protect UK helicopters

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This story is sourced from Flight International
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BAE Systems has been awarded a £16.7 million ($27.9 million) contract to produce its third-generation common missile warning system (CMWS) equipment for a range of UK military helicopters.

Intended to replace current equipment and also to be installed on new-build helicopters, the system integrates “hostile fire indication, missile warning and data recording capabilities into a single unit”, BAE says. This will provide UK pilots with “enhanced detection [and evasion] of small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades, improving their safety and mission effectiveness”, says Bill Staib, the company’s director of threat management solutions.

Platforms protected by BAE’s existing second-generation CMWS and the new-standard system include the British Army’s Boeing/AgustaWestland Apache AH1 attack helicopter and Royal Air Force Boeing CH-47 Chinook transport (below), plus AgustaWestland AW101s and AW159 Wildcats.

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“This contract will ensure that our armed forces will have around 300 systems in total,” says minister for defence equipment, support and technology Philip Dunne.

BAE has already started delivering its new CMWS equipment to the US Army, which in January 2014 placed a $39 million order for 300 systems. The service plans to eventually acquire around 1,300 aircraft sets to protect its personnel.