Indra, one of the world’s leading global technology and consulting companies, has signed a 35 million euros contract with the Spanish Ministry of Defence to equip the Spanish Army’s Chinook CH47F military transport helicopter with next-generation electronic defence systems that will protect the aircraft in the international missions over the coming years.
The ability to fly at low altitude and land anywhere gives helicopters a significant operational advantage over fixed-wing aircraft, but also exposes them to a level of risk that can only be countered with the most advanced technology.
Indra will equip the upgraded version of the Army Chinooks with a complete state-of-the-art electronic defence suite that will enhance the aircraft’s survivability in a conflict zone.
The system will incorporate Indra’s ALR-400FD radar alerter, which is fully digitalized with fiber optic interconnections and is ready to detect and identify at long range the presence of enemy platforms and other radar threats. Its ability to instantly monitor the entire radar spectrum, instead of covering different bands through partial band scanning strategies as was normal in previous generations, allows even the most modern threats to be detected, such as those with large frequency hopping techniques.
The solution also incorporates Indra’s new InWarner sensor, equipped with a missile alerter and a laser alerter, which detects whether any designator has acquired the helicopter as a target. The integration of both elements makes it possible to achieve full situational awareness and increases the effectiveness in activating countermeasures to neutralize the attack.
At all times, but especially during low-altitude flights and takeoffs and landings, Indra’s InShield infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) system will protect the aircraft against MANPAD-type short-range surface-to-air missile and infrared guided missile attacks.
This advanced solution directs a beam of laser energy onto the missile’s thermal guidance system to deflect it, so it can neutralize multiple attacks practically instantaneously. The helicopter will additionally be equipped with chaff countermeasure dispensers and flares to neutralize these attacks.
The self-protection suite of the Spanish Chinook consolidates Indra’s new airborne electronic defence standard, in which the RWR ALR-400FD radar alerter (contracted in 2020 for NH-90) and DIRCM InShield (contracted in 2017 for A400M and in 2020 for NH-90) are joined by the InWarner as a state-of-the-art laser warning sensor (LWS) and missile warning sensor (MWS). This self-protection system will be exportable to other CH-47 aircraft as well as to all types of fixed and rotary wing platforms.
Indra’s technology ensures the platform’s survivability and provides the Spanish Army with an increasingly important superiority over electromagnetic space in any mission. The Army’s ability to operate and deploy in a conflict zone depends on its dominance and the ability to prevent the adversary from gaining unrestricted access to it. Special operations, casualty evacuation, material transport and attack operations would be impossible without this technology.