Thales UK has highlighted the small-arms fire detection capability of the Elix-IR missile approach warning systems (MAWS) for use on Afghanistan-based helicopters at this year’s Defence Systems & Equipment International event in London.

The Elix-IR is a single-colour infrared MAWS equipped with four to six sensors around the airframe offering 360° coverage. These sensors can interface with existing defensive aids subsystems, and plug-in to replace current UV-based MAWS sensors.

The system has derives technology and algorithms out of Typhoon fighter’s infrared search and track system (PIRATE). The Elix-IR’s hostile fire indication and missile warning capability was developed out of PIRATE’s capability to discriminate targets at long range.

The system can also classify incoming fire by analysing its signature.

The sensors of the missile warning system provides imagery that would aid in low-visibility landings during brown out conditions.

The Elix-IR is currently undergoing trials that include tests using live small-arms against a sled-mounted system.

Thales plans to complete the development of the system by the end of 2009.