Exelis has partnered with Airbus Group to offer advanced missile warning capabilities for the US and other F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft operators worldwide.

Under the terms of teaming agreement, the companies will supply capabilities, including lightweight protection against short-range air defence missiles and man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS).

The agreement is expected to ensure that customers have access to the best system affordability, availability and supportability for the US F-16 missile warning requirements.

In particular, Exelis will serve as the lead US contractor for the AAR-60(V)2 missile launch detection system for fighters (MILDS F).

Exelis integrated electronic warfare systems business vice-president and general manager Joe Rambala said: "The agreement ensures that this affordable, ready-now solution is available to US customers and global allies through foreign military sales."

As well as US customer requirements for MILDS F, Exelis will also provide maintenance and sustainment for future foreign military sales programme opportunities.

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By GlobalData

In addition, the company will be responsible for production of MILDS F system components at its facility in Clifton, New Jersey, US.

Manufactured by Airbus Defense and Space, MILDS F is a passive, true-imaging sensor device optimised to detect incoming missile threats, precisely indicate the direction of arrival and automatically release countermeasures with maximum warning time.

"The agreement ensures that this affordable, ready-now solution is available to US customers and global allies through foreign military sales."

Equipped with six sensors, the lightweight system is claimed to be the only missile warning system that is cleared to fly aboard the F-16 fighter through the US Air Force’s Seek Eagle aircraft stores certification process.

Optimised for installation on Terma’s pylon integrated dispenser system plus (PIDS+), the system’s commercial-off-the-shelf status presents an attractive and low-risk option for US F-16 operators, including the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve.

The F-16 is manufactured by Lockheed Martin. It was initially designed as an air superiority day fighter, but later evolved into a successful all-weather multirole aircraft for accurate delivery of ordnance during non-visual bombing conditions.

The aircraft is operated by the air forces of Egypt, Iraq, New Zealand, South Korea and Chile, as well as Bahrain, Greece Singapore, Poland and the US.

Image: Exelis has partnered with Airbus to provide missile warning capabilities for US and international F-16 aircraft. Photo: courtesy of SMSGT John P Rohrer, USAF.

Defence Technology