In a win for American airpower, defense giant Leonardo DRS has delivered its 1,000th infrared sensor package, a critical component of the US Army’s next-generation helicopter missile warning system. This sensor forms the core of BAE Systems’ 2-Color Advanced Warning System (2CAWS), acting as a guardian angel for helicopter crews by providing a 360-degree shield against missile threats.

The milestone delivery, as announced by the company earlier this week (July 1), comes at a crucial time.

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has underscored the vulnerability of helicopters in modern warfare. Recent data reveals hundreds of helicopters downed on both sides, highlighting the urgent need for advanced defensive measures.

“We are proud to have reached this important milestone,” said Jerry Hathaway, Senior Vice President at Leonardo DRS. “[…] to have developed this critical lifesaving technology for aircrews.”

“The challenges in Ukraine emphasize how important it is to have this capability on aircraft today on the battlefield to maneuver and conduct operations,” he added.

Beyond Detection: A Layered Defense

Leonardo DRS goes beyond basic detection. Their infrared sensor technology integrates seamlessly with countermeasure systems, providing a layered defense against a variety of missile threats.

This includes shoulder-fired missiles, often used in asymmetric conflicts, and vehicle-launched surface-to-air missiles employed by mechanized forces.