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.
“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.
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