C4iSR: Air

Thales readies Elix-IR airborne threat warning system for production

17 August 2017

Thales’ Elix-IR multifunction airborne infrared (IR) threat warning system will be available for production by the end of September 2018, Jane’s has learnt.

Developed though a Technology Demonstrator Programme (TDP) jointly funded by Thales and the UK Ministry of Defence, the Elix-IR provides “advanced combined simultaneous and unimpeded missile warning, hostile fire indication (HFI) and 360° coverage from a single sensor system”, said Richard King, export sales manager for defensive aids systems at Thales UK.

Elix-IR is designed for a wide range of rotary and subsonic fixed-wing platforms, such as helicopters, transport aircraft, and VIP aircraft, with a growth path to support fast jets and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). As it is International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)-compliant, the system is readily exportable.

Thales is aiming to have its Elix-IR threat warning system ready for production by the end of 2018. (Thales)Thales is aiming to have its Elix-IR threat warning system ready for production by the end of 2018. (Thales)

“Extensively tested in complex scenarios, both synthetic and live and evaluated by UK DSTL in operationally representative environments, Elix-IR has achieved TRL 7 [Technology Readiness Level 7] and will be available as a product at the end of Q3 2018,” added King.

Elix-IR is a multifunction passive threat warning system comprising of four to six distributed single-colour medium wave (MW)IR sensors – depending on the platform type it is configured for – and managed by a controller with a removable user data module.

A platform fitted with five single-colour IR sensors and a controller unit weighs 22 kg.

France’s Sofradir group provides the compact high performance MWIR detector, which is a bespoke design and integrated with Elix-IR’s cooling engine and proximity electronics.

The system can detect passive manportable air defence systems (MANPADS) and CrewPADS, while simultaneously offering HFI of small-to-large calibre guns, rocket propelled grenades (RPGs), and other unguided rockets that are threatening the platform “with a timely and accurate cueing of threat countermeasures”, including directed IR countermeasures (DIRCM), and electro-optical countermeasures.

Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options:

(318 of 474 words)