US Army taps BAE Systems for its next-gen missile warning system

The United States Army has awarded BAE Systems with a $179 million contract to develop its next-generation Missile Warning System (MWS), the company has announced. Under this contract, BAE Systems will operate under the US Army's Limited Interim Missile Warning System Quick Reaction Capability (LIMWS QRC) program. The company will provide the military with its first two production lots of the LIMWS.

The Limited Interim Missile Warning System builds upon the Army's Common Missile Warning System, which was likewise supplied by BAE Systems. The US Army provided the company with funding back in 2018 to produce these systems, the idea being that they would eventually be used in a few hundred Black Hawk helicopters.

The key to the new system is BAE System's 2-Color Advanced Warning System (2CAWS) processor, which the company describes as an open processor system that features two-color infrared sensors. Ultimately, the Army will benefit from faster data transmission and greater range compared to the older system.

The LIMWS system can be used with the Army's existing aircraft, equipping them with the ability to rapidly detect and respond to missile threats using, among other things, advanced machine learning algorithms. The existing compatibility will speed up the amount of time it takes to install and integrate the system.

In a statement about the contract, BAE Systems Director of Threat Detection Solutions Chris Austin said:

Threats are evolving and proliferating at a rapid pace and our aircrews who fly into harm's way need the most advanced protection systems available. These orders follow an intensive two-year development and qualification program, made possible by a strong industry-government partnership focused on achieving an aggressive schedule.