Helicopters are essential in modern warfare and defence, but the aircrews and troops they carry must contend with a growing array of evolving threats, particularly infrared-guided missiles, rocket-propelled grenades, and small arms fire.
The Boldstroke system is a lightweight, reliable and low-cost infrared laser countermeasure designed to protect aircraft from infrared-guided missiles and other evolving threats.
It synthesises the best attributes of previous laser jamming systems to meet the size, weight, and power requirements of rotary-wing and light fixed-wing platforms and is also compatible with BAE Systems’ field-proven Common Missile Warning System, already deployed on most of the US Army’s rotary-wing fleet.
The system reduces A-Kit and B-Kit weight to maximize aircraft useful payload, increased weapon system availability, and provides significant life-cycle cost savings. It also uses flight-proven hardware and algorithms tested at BAE Systems’ advanced flight simulation laboratory to combat existing and future threats.
Bill Staib, Director of BAE Systems’ Survivability & Targeting Solutions Business said: “The decision recognises the value of 30 years’ experience and commitment to pioneering and delivering this type of technology and the exacting work behind it, including threat exploitation, jam code development, hardware-in-the-loop simulations, flight tests, and live fire tests. Our motto is ‘We Protect Those Who Protect Us®’ and that’s really what this achievement boils down to. Our employees are completely dedicated to that mission.”
Last year, BAE Systems opened the Worrell/Weeks Aircrew Protection Center, a $20 million facility for testing and evaluating equipment used for defending helicopters and other aircraft against infrared-guided missiles and hostile fire. This new facility is part of a three-year, $70 million investment in developing state-of-the-art manufacturing and systems engineering facilities for integrated aircraft survivability equipment.
To date, BAE Systems has delivered more than 10,000 IRCM systems protecting a wide variety of Army and Navy platforms. “These systems have saved lives and continue to save lives in combat,” Staib added.