The UK Ministry of Defence has awarded a contract to BAE Systems to support and service aircraft countermeasures systems.

The AAR-57 common missile warning system (CMWS) is a passive missile detection and warning system that integrates electronic warfare sensors to detect and defeat infrared-guided missiles.

Under the £16m ($24.8m) contract, BAE Systems will provide spare systems and accept returned equipment for depot-level repair in the US to guarantee availability of CMWS equipment spares to the warfighters.

The support services will reduce repair turnaround time and total system maintenance costs to the MoD while improving system availability.

CMWS incorporates up to six electro-optic missile sensors that will provide comprehensive coverage and constantly monitor for the signature of a missile.

The system also consists of an electronic control unit (ECU) that processes the sensor data and provides cues for countermeasures to defeat the incoming missile.

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BAE Systems Global Survivability and Support Solutions director Cindy Carpenter said the programme would ensure that MoD rotary and fixed-wing platforms have spare CMWS equipment available at their deployed operating bases every time they need it.

More than 120 systems on UK rotary and fixed-wing aircraft, including the Chinook and Tornado, have been fielded with CMWS.