R&T: UK DSTL to improve the resilience of future UK aircraft to anti-air threats.

The technology demonstrator, object of a jointly funded £24.5M contract, is scheduled to be completed in 2015. It will prove that the system can identify and declare threats in complex environments with a high level of accuracy. It will use up to six single color infra-red sensors to provide full coverage of the volume around the aircraft and use Thales algorithms on a central processor.

Testing at each stage of the development will use a bespoke evaluation and validation system. Dstl will conduct a series of ground and flight trials to assess the system’s performance in representative conditions.

The system’s sensors will also be capable of generating infra-red imagery from all around the aircraft to aid aircrew situational awareness and is designed to include data recording to support effective mission planning and post mission replay.

The research will be conducted by Thales and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). The programme is being managed and delivered from the Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) Air Technology Delivery organisation.

Alex Cresswell, head of Thales UK’s land defence business, says: “Such an important programme in a key technology is a clear recognition of the extensive work already carried out by Thales UK in this field. It demonstrates the MOD’s confidence in Thales’s ability to deliver such a capability and we look forward to deploying it successfully into service with the UK and its close allies.”

George Lane from DSTL says: “This program is another example of how the MOD is working closely with UK industry to develop equipment that will improve the survivability of aircraft and aircrew.”

Pete Douglass, from the Air Technology Delivery team in DE&S, says: “The MOD is constantly looking at ways to develop new technology that enhances the performance and safety of our Armed Forces and this research contract is a great example of this. We are looking forward to developing this important program and reaping the benefits of the research.”

Source : Thales Group

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