Thales has collaborated with Leonardo to conduct live-fire exercises that demonstrated the advanced capabilities of their end-to-end missile warning and protection system built to safeguard aircraft.

Tested as part of the surface-to-air launch trial hosted by the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration, the integrated system demonstrated its ability to offer quick defence against multiple heat-seeking, man-portable, air-defence missiles.

While Thales and Leonardo invested in the integration of the aircraft protection system, the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) sponsored the two companies to participate in the trial.

The aircraft protection system comprised the Leonardo-developed Miysis Directed Infra-Red Counter-Measure system and the Elix-IR multi-function threat warning system built by Thales.

“Miysis used a DSTL-built jamming waveform to confuse the missile’s guidance system, forcing it to change direction away from the target.”

The two solutions were integrated using Leonardo’s Defensive Aids Suite (DAS) Controller, an advanced electronic warfare computer.

During the live-fire exercises, an infra-red (IR) missile was fired at a ground target, which was protected by the Leonardo-Thales system.

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Following the firing, the Elix-IR system detected, tracked, and classified the missile as a threat and quickly provided an alert to the Miysis system.

The Miysis system was then able to track the threat and accurately direct a jamming laser on to the seeker of the incoming missile.

Miysis used a DSTL-built jamming waveform to confuse the missile’s guidance system, forcing it to change direction away from the target.

The latest generation solution is capable of protecting military and civil aircraft fleets ranging from small helicopters to large tactical transport platforms.