What is Aircraft Survivability Equipment?

Aircraft Survivability Equipment (ASE) is an array of related electronic devices and systems designed to protect aircraft and crews by detecting and defeating threats from infrared (IR) guided (heat seeking) missiles, laser-guided RF missiles, and unguided munitions.

These systems are defensive in scope and typically consist of missile detection, warning, and tracking technologies paired with some combination of signal jamming, a kinetic "chaff & flare" countermeasures dispensing system (CMDS), and/or infrared laser beam countermeasures technologies. New "smart" countermeasures and dispensers also improve ASE effectiveness, which should continue as they are adopted more broadly.

With the increasing proliferation of shoulder-launched IR missiles and other effective, but low cost threats, most helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are highly vulnerable to attack in combat and other hostile environments. That is why improvements and upgrades to aircraft survivability equipment and related threat management solutions are consistently in high demand worldwide, especially for military and head-of-state platforms.

A variety of companies design and manufacture some types of aircraft survivability equipment, while only a few produce comprehensive aircraft survivability systems. Even fewer companies design and produce aircraft survivability components that can upgrade older systems to modern threat defense levels, which is important to many countries in their efforts to manage a range of US Army, US Navy, US Air Force, and US Marine Corps aircraft, both rotary- and fixed-wing, cost-effectively.

 


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