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Cassidian missile sensor to protect South Korean Surions

Cassidian Electronics will provide its missile launch detection system (MILDS) equipment for Korea Aerospace Industries Surion transport helicopters to be operated by the South Korean army.

The order comprises roughly 100 AAR-60 MILDS sensors in a "multimillion euro" deal, said Cassidian, a unit of EADS. The initial batch includes 24 sensors, and will be delivered up to 2013.

Cassidian's MILDS is a passive imaging sensor that detects the ultraviolet signature of approaching missiles. "Extremely high resolution, combined with rapid processing, enables very reliable threat identification and virtually eliminates false alarms," the company said.

It noted that four to five sensors per aircraft provide optimum coverage and reaction times, and that more than 7,000 sensors are in service worldwide. Helicopters that have been equipped with MILDS include the Boeing CH-47 Chinook, Eurocopter Tiger, NH Industries NH90 and Sikorsky CH-53.

The sensor has also been used aboard Lockheed Martin C-130s, and a special fighter version equips Lockheed F-16s of the Danish and Norwegian air forces.

The Surion, also known as the Korea Utility Helicopter, was jointly developed by KAI and Euro­copter. The aircraft can carry two pilots and up to 11 troops and has a top speed of 130kt (240km/h).

The type had its first flight in March 2010, with South Korea likely to procure 250 to replace its Bell UH-1Hs and MD Helicopters MD500s. KAI and Eurocopter also have a joint-venture to market the Surion overseas.

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