African customer orders SPREOS DIRCM for VIP, military aircraft

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An unidentified African customer has ordered Bird Aerosystems’ SPREOS (Self Protection Radar Electro-Optic System) directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) system for its VIP and military aircraft fleet.

Bird Aerosystems on 18 November announced it had won a contract for the delivery and installation of its AMPS-MLRD solution incorporating SPREOS, which will be installed on several types of aircraft.

The company said the AMPS-MLRD missile protection system protects military and civilian aircraft against man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS), laser and radar guided threats. The system is designed to automatically detect, verify, and foil surface-to-air missile attacks through the effective use of countermeasure decoys (flares and chaff) and additionally by directional infrared countermeasures that jam the missile’s infrared seeker.

As part of the contract, all aircraft will be installed with the SPREOS, which combines a semi-active dual band radar and directional infrared countermeasure. Queued by missile warning sensors, SPREOS points towards the suspected threat, performs a Doppler based interrogation to confirm the existence of a valid threat, and extracts its key parameters. In addition, SPREOS tracks and points a solid-state Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL) towards the threat.

Ronen Factor, Co-Chief Executive Officer and Founder at Bird Aerosystems said, “After a careful examination process, the customer chose Bird Aerosystems’ SPREOS and the AMPS-MLRD to protect its VIP and military fleet. Bird Aerosystems’ AMPS with the SPREOS DIRCM makes it possible to identify and intercept high-velocity threat attacks such as enemy MANPADS and eliminate all of the systems false alarms.”

Bird Aerosystems’ AMPS is in operational use by several different customers in Africa, protecting VIP aircraft and helicopters.

In June this year the company said it had delivered its Airborne Missile Protection Systems (AMPS) to a VIP customer in Africa, which will protect a presidential Boeing 737 aircraft. The AMPS system includes an AeroShield POD and Missile Approach Confirmation Sensor.

In August 2019, Bird Aerosystems said it had received a contract to provide missile protection systems for United Nations’ Mi-17 helicopters operating in Africa. Its AMPS-MV solution would be installed on UN Mi-17s operating in dangerous and complicated areas. The UN is already using Bird’s AMPS, and this is a follow-on order that will allow the UN to install the systems on additional helicopters, the company said.

The system is designed to automatically detect, verify, and foil surface-to-air missile attacks through the effective use of countermeasure decoys (flares and chaff) and by directional infrared countermeasures that jam the missile’s infrared seeker.

Bird Aerosystems says it specialises in airborne missile protection systems and airborne surveillance, information and observation (ASIO) solutions – it is, for example, supplying Cessna Citation jets configured for maritime surveillance to an African country, believed to be Nigeria, and in 2017 supplied a maritime surveillance Citation to Angola.



Its solutions are in use with commercial and military organisations, including NATO forces, the US government, Airbus and other major aircraft manufacturers. It says its AMPS is combat proven and has been operational in Afghanistan and Iraq with over 400 installations on platforms such as the EC155, BK117, EC145, EC635, EC135, Cougar, EC225, C-130, P-3C, B350ER, B200, Bell 407, CH-53, S92, UH-60, Mi-17 and Mi-8.