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New protection suite ordered for Brazilian Lynx fleet

Selex ES has been contracted to provide an electronic warfare upgrade to the Brazilian navy’s fleet of AgustaWestland Lynx 21A rotorcraft.

The self-protection suite will include Selex’s Sage electronic support measures (ESM) system, alongside a defensive aids suite (DAS) controller and a third-party countermeasures dispensing system.

The upgrade will be operational in 2017, a Selex spokesperson tells Flightglobal. The deal is the latest in a series of successes for the Sage system, which was also sold in June for installation on the Indonesian air force’s Airbus Defence & Space CN235s – the first such sale for use with a fixed-wing type.

For the Brazilian Lynx fleet, Sage will provide a wide-band radar warning capability that is primarily aimed at platform protection, and the DAS controller will use this to cue countermeasures.

In addition, Sage will provide a narrow-band fine angle of arrival and geolocation capability that is primarily used for surveillance and intelligence purposes. Sage collects emitter data from radar frequency sources and compares them with an emitter library to identify threats and geolocate them.

The combination of this technology “effectively provides a flexible and extremely affordable defensive capability for the helicopters”, the company says.

Flightglobal’s Fleets Analyzer database records the Brazilian navy as having 12 operational Lynx. The service earlier this year awarded AgustaWestland a contract worth more than $160 million to upgrade eight of the aircraft, with the work to include replacing their Rolls-Royce Gem engines with LHTEC CTS800-4Ns.

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AgustaWestland

Sage has also been tested on the Schiebel S-100 Camcopter rotary-wing unmanned air vehicle, which is being offered for a Royal Australian Navy requirement that is exploring different options, including both fixed- and rotary-wing air vehicles.

There are also planned ESM trials of Sage for the UK Ministry of Defence, in conjunction with its Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.

The Selex equipment has also been provided to the Republic of Korea as part of a package of electronic warfare equipment for the country’s maritime operational helicopter programme for the AW159 Wildcat.

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