Civilian operators that work in combat environments now have an option to equip their helicopters with electronic warfare devices that can detect incoming missiles and launch chaff and/or flare countermeasures. Rotorcraft Services Group (RSG, Booth No. 1206) recently signed an agreement with Switzerland-based Ruag Schweiz to provide integration and qualification services for Ruag’s Integrated Self-Protection System (ISSYS) Plug-on-Device (POD) for use in the civil aviation market.
Based on the Saab Compact Integrated Defensive Aids Suite (CIDAS), the ISSYS-POD consists of up to five missile-approach warning sensors, optional laser and radar warning sensors, an electronic control unit, control display panel, optional threat display and two countermeasure dispensers. Designed as a limited integration system weighing approximately 96 to 130 kilograms, all except 11 kilograms of the ISSYS-POD can be removed from the aircraft when not needed and reinstalled for specific missions by two technicians in approximately 30 minutes.
“The ISSYS-POD is the role fit version of the Saab-proven CIDAS currently in use protecting both civil and military aircraft in sophisticated threat environment around the world,” said Fida Waishek, president of RSG AeroDesign. “When the system detects a MANPADS [man-portable surface-to-air missile] launch, it tracks the incoming missile, then uses mixed chaff and flares payload to jam and misdirect the missile’s guidance system, causing it to miss the target aircraft. The entire process occurs in few seconds and requires no action on the part of the aircraft crew.”
The basic ISSYS-POD system includes four missile-approach warning sensors to provide spatial coverage of 360 degrees azimuth; an additional fifth sensor can be added for full downward-looking coverage. Each sensor uses a dedicated digital signal processor to ensure real-time information processing, enabling the detection and handling of up to 10 threats simultaneously from up to 5 km away.
The system includes one countermeasures dispenser installed on each side of the helicopter. The dispensers can be loaded with one-by one-inch or two- by one-inch pyrotechnical payloads, with the customer determining the mix of chaff and flare. The ISSYS-POD system requires 28 Volts DC power from the helicopter and consumes 350 to 500 Watts (with optional sensors) plus an additional 380 Watts while dispensing on both sides.
The ISSYS-POD has been developed to EASA standards and has been installed on several helicopters including the Super Puma, EC225, Mi17 and A109. Installation cost for the system ranges from $1.5 to $2 million depending on the aircraft platform, but unless the countermeasures are actually used, there are few other costs to the system. According to Waishek, some peacekeeping entities are even electing to install the system without the chaff and flare countermeasures.
“The POD is quickly emerging as an easy and economical way to configure aircraft that would not have this type of equipment,” said Waishek.
As part of its integration services, RSG will assist customers with qualification for their specific aircraft. ISSYS-POD integrated and qualified solutions also are available for fixed-wing aircraft such as the Cessna Caravan, Twin Otter and Beechcraft King Air.