BIRD Aerosystems installs another AMPS solution on UN helicopters operating in Africa


Israel’s Bird Aerosystems has completed another installation of its AMPS-MV Airborne Missile Protection System on Mi-17 helicopters operating on behalf of the United Nations in Africa.

The company on 11 July announced that the helicopters are ready for immediate operational use, and their AMPS-MV systems will protect UN Air Operations VIPs when flying in Africa.

The system is designed to automatically detect, verify, and foil surface-to-air missile (SAM) attacks through the effective use of countermeasure decoys (flares and chaff) and by Directional Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) that jam the missile’s infrared seeker. The AMPS-MV includes BIRD Aerosystems’ patented Missile Approach Confirmation Sensor (MACS), which provides confirmation of suspected incoming missile threats detected by the main electro-optical passive sensors, and eliminates false alarms. MACS ensures that only real missiles will be declared by the system and reacted upon, the company said.

“As a qualified supplier of airborne missile protection systems for the UN as well as for other leading organisations such as the US government and various NATO forces, this follow-on order comes after several previous successful installations of BIRD’s solutions on UN Air Operations aircraft in recent years,” Bird Aerosystems said.

Ronen Factor, Co-CEO and Founder at Bird Aerosystems said that, “Providing the highest level of protection for its personnel, the UN Air Operations again chooses to equip its aircraft with Bird’s AMPS Airborne Missile Protection System. As the recent conflict in Ukraine showed us, the importance of these systems for the protection of soldiers’ lives is undoubted.”

AMPS-MV has been approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and German aviation authority LBA (Luftfahrt Bundesamt) for installation on business jet-sized aircraft. It operates autonomously and comprises MILDS AN/AAR-60 (UV) sensors that automatically detect the missile launch and send the indication/alarm to an EW Suite Controller (MCDU). The MCDU activates the Missile Approach Confirmation Sensor (MACS) that slews to the direction of the incoming threat and verifies the validity of the threat.

Only upon validation of the threat by both MILDS and MACS sensors will the MCDU confirm the threat, initiate the optimized countermeasure dispensing programme, and provide visual and audio alerts to the aircraft crew. AMPS-MV can handle up to eight simultaneous threats.

Bird Aerosystems specialises in airborne missile protection systems and airborne surveillance, information and observation (ASIO) solutions. 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.