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The US Army has placed orders with BAE Systems totalling $179 million (€157 million) as part of the Limited Interim Missile Warning System (LIMWS) Quick Reaction Capability (QRC) programme.

Orders for the first two production lots are included, plus funding to enable fielding of the next-generation Missile Warning System (MWS), which provides aircrews with advanced threat detection capabilities, improving survivability and mission effectiveness in contested environments.

Threats are evolving and proliferating at a rapid pace and our aircrews who fly into harm’s way need the most advanced protection systems available,” explained Chris Austin, Director of Threat Detection Solutions at BAE Systems. “These orders follow an intensive two-year development and qualification programme, made possible by a strong industry-government partnership focused on achieving an aggressive schedule.”

The foundation of LIMWS is BAE Systems’ 2-Color Advanced Warning System (2CAWS) processor, which will allow the Army to outpace the threat. 2CAWS builds on the company’s experience in fielding systems for the complex rotary-wing environment. Optimized for size, weight and power, 2CAWS features an open system processor, two-colour infrared sensors for increased range and a fibre optic A-kit for faster data transmission. The system processor serves as the high-bandwidth digital backbone of the system and houses advanced machine learning missile warning algorithms specifically designed for complex, high-clutter environments and rapid threat updates. LIMWS is compatible with existing US Army aircraft survivability equipment, including pilot interfaces and countermeasure systems, allowing for accelerated installation and integration timelines.

The award will continue the fielding of LIMWS systems in support of critical US Army requirements. It follows a December 2017 development contract and an initial production order in May 2018. Work will be conducted in BAE Systems’ facilities in Merrimack, NH and Huntsville, AL, where the company is building a new state-of-the-art facility.

2CAWS builds on the company’s experience delivering combat-proven aircraft survivability equipment to the US and allied armed forces and its experience executing critical QRC programmes. The company’s Common Missile Warning System is currently fielded on thousands of US Army platforms and has saved dozens of aircraft and their crews since it was first fielded in 2005.

The next-generation missile warning system are based on advanced processor and algorithms that leverage the most cutting-edge technologies now being fielded. (Image via BAE Systems)

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