The UK Ministry of Defence awarded BAE Systems a £16.7 million ($28 million) contract to supply its third-generation common missile warning system (CMWS) for British military helicopters. The order represents the first direct commercial sale of the latest-generation countermeasures suite, BAE said.
The “Gen 3” system combines hostile-fire indication, missile warning and data recording capability into a single unit. The system protects against infrared missile threats; with the addition of hostile-fire indication it enables helicopter crews to detect and avoid small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades.
Earlier generations of BAE’s CMWS have nearly a decade of combat experience. In January, the company announced a $39 million contract from the U.S. Army for 300 Gen 3 units, bringing its overall procurement of third-generation systems to 1,300. In-theater installations started immediately on Army Apache, Kiowa and Black Hawk helicopters in Afghanistan. The January order was the first of a proposed $496 million indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract from the Army.
The British MOD has now acquired more than 300 total CMWS systems, BAE said. New Gen 3 systems will both replace some previously purchased Gen 2 units and outfit new aircraft. Systems will be installed in Apache, Chinook, Wildcat (next-generation Lynx) and Merlin helicopters.
“The award of this contract for common missile warning systems to BAE Systems will ensure our armed forces continue to have the state-of-the-art equipment they need to protect our aircraft and helicopters,” said Philip Dunne, minister of defence for equipment support and technology. “The Ministry of Defence is committed to providing battle-winning technology to our military.”