Leonardo demos MAIR system capabilities during debut flight test

4 September 2019 (Last Updated September 4th, 2019 14:55)

Leonardo has demonstrated the capabilities of its Multiple Aperture Infrared (MAIR) system during the maiden test flight along Italy’s coast.

Leonardo has demonstrated the capabilities of its Multiple Aperture Infrared (MAIR) system during the maiden test flight along Italy’s coast.

MAIR is a missile warning system designed to provide hostile fire indication (HFI), day and night imaging and infrared search and track (IRST) target tracking capabilities.

As part of the flight test, a testbed helicopter equipped with the MAIR system took off from La Spezia on the coast of Italy on a round-trip flight path.

The test showcased the ability of the MAIR system to collect and process information from multiple infrared (IR) cameras at the same time.

Leonardo has stated that the MAIR system performed in line with expectations and recorded data throughout the test flight.

The company is planning to undertake additional flight tests to verify the system’s full suite of modes.

The presence of distributed IR sensors ensures complete spherical coverage for aircraft crews.

MAIR can detect incoming missile threats and can discriminate between other heat sources.

The system provides high detection probability and immediate warnings to the crews. In addition, MAIR offers a low false alarm rate in ‘heavy cluttered environments’.

In a statement, Leonardo said: “This level of performance is possible due to MAIR’s proprietary processing techniques, which draw on Leonardo’s years of experience in providing infrared search and track (IRST) systems, such as the Skyward-G, which equips Saab’s Gripen E combat aircraft, and the PIRATE, which has been operationally proven on board the Eurofighter Typhoon.”

MAIR can be used on fixed and rotary wing, manned and unmanned platforms. It provides an easy interface with countermeasure systems to respond to threats.

If an incoming threat is identified, MAIR informs protective systems such as Leonardo’s Miysis Directed Infrared Countermeasure (DIRCM) system.

The DIRCM would then engage the missile and defeat it to protect the host aircraft.