Leonardo's Multiple Aperture InfraRed (MAIR) missile warning system has made its first test flight, company officials revealed at the DSEI 2019 trade show in London.
The system underwent two hours of flight testing in July off the Ligurian coast between La Spezia and Genoa on a testbed helicopter. The location was chosen over the usual testing ground of Sardinia because of the climactic conditions of warm air meeting the Alps, as well as highways, and a rugged coastline.
The system was also tested using plumes from industrial chimneys, which can give a similar signature to missile launches against a skyline.
During the test, the system demonstrated its ability to gather and process information from multiple sensors simultaneously, while recording data for further evaluation and testing. Further flight tests are to take place to fully trial the system's full range of capabilities.
The company is close to performing trials of the system on a fixed-wing aircraft to complete its qualification campaign ahead of a potential production launch in the second half of 2020. The fixed-wing market is targeting the military transport and cargo market in the first instance and may expand to the fighter aircraft and civil aviation sectors in the future. UAV integration is also under consideration.
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