Helicopter manufacturer Airbus Helicopters has contracted defence and security company Saab to produce the Integrated Defensive Aids Suite (IDAS) self-protection system for the H225M Caracal multirole utility helicopters, with deliveries scheduled for 2020.
With production set to take place in the remainder of this year as well as next year at Saab’s Grintek Defence premises in Centurion, Saab business area surveillance head Anders Carp says the IDAS protects the crew by enhancing platform survivability in sophisticated, diverse and dense threat environments.
He adds that the system provides timely warning against radar, laser and infrared guided threats and automatically deploys the appropriate countermeasures.
“This order confirms Saab’s strong position as a supplier of world-class airborne self-protection systems, which improves the customer’s operational capabilities,” Carp points out.
He explains that the system has a long and successful history with proven capability on many airborne platforms such as the Saab 2000, Agusta-Westland A109, Super Lynx 300, Boeing CH-47 Chinook, Denel Rooivalk and Oryx, Eurocopter Cougar, Puma and Super Puma, NH Industries NH90, C-130 and L100 Hercules, and the Sukhoi Su-30MKM.
Moreover, Saab Grintek Defence CEO Trevor Raman mentions that Saab has a long-standing relationship with Airbus and the order of its effective and reliable IDAS system reaffirms the relationship.
In June this year, Saab also completed a successful first flight of the next-generation smart fighter plane called the Gripen E.
On June 15, the Gripen E took off on its maiden flight, flown by a Saab test pilot. The aircraft, with designation 39-8, departed from Saab’s airfield in Linkoping, Sweden, and flew over the eastern parts of Ostergotland, for 40 minutes.
During the flight, the aircraft carried out a number of actions to demonstrate various test criteria, including the retracting and extending of the landing gear.
“The flight was just as expected, with the aircraft performance matching the experience in our simulations. Its acceleration performance is impressive, with smooth handling,” says Saab experimental test pilot Marcus Wandt.
Saab business area aeronautics VP Jonas Hjelm adds that the aircraft was equipped with a fully qualified software for the revolutionary avionics system. This was done to ensure that the aircraft encompassed a smart fighter system, which was designed with the future in mind.
“The flight test activities will continue to build on this achievement, with the programme on track to achieve the 2019 delivery schedule to our Swedish and Brazilian customers,” he concludes.