BIRD Aerosystems, the Israeli developer of airborne missile protection systems (AMPS) and special-mission aircraft solutions, has received an order for additional helicopter-mounted AMPS systems from UN Air Operations, in order to equip Mi-17 Hips operating in “the most dangerous and complicated areas in Africa”.
Under the contract, BIRD will provide its AMPS-MV system, which includes the MACS sensor. The UN already uses the company’s AMPS systems, and this follow-on order will allow the organisation to install the systems on additional helicopters.
Bird describes its AMPS missile protection system as “the most enhanced protection for military and civilian aircraft against the growing threat of surface-to-air missiles” – specifically, man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS). The system is designed to automatically detect, verify and foil SAM attacks through the effective use of countermeasure decoys (flares and chaff) and by directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) that jam the missile’s IR seeker.
The AMPS-MV includes BIRD Aerosystems’ Missile Approach Confirmation Sensor (MACS) sensor, which performs confirmation of suspected incoming missile threats detected by the main electro-optical passive sensors, to reduce potential false alarms. According to the firm, MACS ensures that only real missiles are declared by the system and reacted upon.