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BAE Systems has been awarded a £16.7 million contract to produce 300 its third-generation common missile warning system equipment for the UK’s military helicopters.

The Common Missile Warning System is a series of sensors used for detecting incoming missile threats and an electronic control unit that informs the aircraft crew of the threat, automatically triggering countermeasures.

Chinook helicopters prepare to land at an Afghan Army training site in Policharki, Afghanistan.

Philip Dunne, the MoD minister of procurement , said that it “provides proven detection of missile, rocket and small arms threats for tactical, fixed and rotary-wing aircraft. This contract will ensure our armed forces will have around 300 systems in total.”

BAE’s Bill Staib has said that this will provide UK pilots with “enhanced detection and evasion of small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades, improving their safety and mission effectiveness”.

“Our engineers have now enhanced the system with third-generation technology, integrating hostile fire indication, missile warning and data recording into a single unit.” Staib continued.

The UK now joins the US in procurement of this system. The US Army signed the first tranche of a $496 million contract for the system earlier this year.

A spokeswoman for the MoD outlined plans that the system would be used largely for rotary-wing aircraft, but one fixed-wing platform would also be outfitted. She would not name the fixed-wing aircraft for security reasons.

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