Airbus Defence and Space has joined forces with the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) of the Australian Ministry of Defence to improve the protection of wide-body aircraft and helicopters. In a joint development program they upgraded Airbus Defence and Space’s proven MILDS AN/AAR-60 Block II Missile Approach Warning system with a HFI (Hostile Fire Indication) capability which allows for reliable warning of the growing threat of small arms fire. As the HFI function is a pure software application within the existing AAR-60, no additional equipment is required to proctect the aircraft. DSTO and Airbus DS have successfully tested the HFI algorithms in field trials with very good results
MILDS is a passive imaging sensor, detecting the UV radiation signature of approaching missiles. The extremely high resolution combined with rapid processing enables very reliable threat identification and virtually eliminates false alarms. Four to five sensors provide optimum coverage and rapid reaction. As MILDS operates in the UV spectrum, it is not subject to the limitations of other warning technologies such as infrared. Therefore, MILDS Block II offers superior ability to detect small arms fire which is obviously dangerous in low-level flight close to the ground.
With more than 8,000 sensors sold, MILDS is the standard missile approach warner outside the U.S. It is in service aboard a huge variety of rotary wing and wide-body aircraft, including Tiger, NH90, CH-53, CH-47 and MI-17 helicopters and C-130 transport aircraft. A specific fighter version – MILDS F – is in service with the Royal Danish Airforce and Royal Norwegian Airforce F-16 fighters.