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Hensoldt to equip more Ukrainian helicopters with missile detection systems

Concept drawing of Hensoldt AMPS fitted to helicopter. (Hensoldt)

Sensor maker Hensoldt is to equip Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) helicopters with its AMPS (Airborne Missile Protection System) for the second time.

The order, worth tens of millions of USD, was announced by Hensoldt on 5 June.

Hensoldt delivered 16 AMPS self-protection kits for AFU helicopters for the first time in June 2023, with Czech firm Lom Praha as the system integrator.

Combining its inventory at the start of the Russian invasion in February 2022 with donations from other countries since then, Ukraine operates a helicopter fleet of dozens of mostly old or upgraded Soviet Mi-8, 17, and 24 models.

It is not known which helicopters were fitted with AMPS in 2023, but Hensoldt told Janes that with this new order they were equipping a new, or different platform compared with the previous order.

The configuration of AMPS remains the same for this second contract, Janes learnt. It is made up of the Missile Launch Detection Sensor (MILDS), an AMPS Control and Display Unit (ACDU), and the active confirmation system (MACS), intended to determine the distance and speed of detected missiles and eliminate false alarms. The Counter Measure Dispensing Systems (CMDS) already installed on the helicopters can continue to be operated with the current AMPS configuration.

AMPS is intended to provide protection against surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) including manportable air-defence system (MANPADS) and infrared (IR)-/radar-guided missiles. It is designed to detect, automatically verify, and counter attacks through the use of countermeasure decoys (flares and chaff) and by directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) that jam the missile's IR seeker but can be custom configured to meet user-specific requirements.

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