Electronic Weapons: Anti-Ground Fire System For Helicopters

Archives

November 16, 2014: For several decades low flying aircraft and helicopters have been equipped with defensive systems that detected approaching heat seeking missiles and automatically used countermeasures to make the missile ineffective. Now an Israeli firm is developing a similar system to deal with hostile gunfire from the ground. This would be especially useful for medical evacuation helicopters, which routinely fly into dangerous air space to fetch wounded troops.

These anti-gunfire systems would operate in a similar fashion to the anti-missiles equipment. These were designed as defenses against shoulder fired surface-to-air missiles (like the SAM-7 or Stinger) and are currently shifting from systems that use flares to those that use laser beams.

A typical anti-missile system has two components. First, there are four ultraviolet detection sensors (weighing about 2 kg/4.4 pounds each) mounted on different parts of the helicopter or aircraft to detect an approaching missile. These sensor are linked to a 3-5 kg computer that contains software for determining that the object is indeed a missile and where it is headed. The detection computer is hooked to a countermeasures system using either flares and chaff (strips of metal foil), or a laser, to confuse the missiles guidance system (that is homing in the heat of the helicopters engines.) The countermeasures component weighs 14-20 kg depending on type or model.

The anti-gunfire system would use a computer controlled machine-gun turret mounted underneath the aircraft to cause the people firing to stop, or at least ruin their aim. The sensors would not detect heat, but instead they would identify the light and the sound of firing or passing bullets. Such detectors have been used for over a decade on the ground for detecting snipers and have become quite effective. The key to making this anti-gunfire system work is the use of the aircraft machine-gun to deliver “suppressive” (make the shooter duck) fire to where the ground fire was coming from. The aircraft, even a helicopter, is moving quite fast so it helps a lot if suppressive fire can be quickly put on the ground shooter to make the shooting stop momentarily or ruin their aim. By the time the shooters on the ground recover their composure the helicopter is out of sight or much further away.

 

 


Article Archive

Electronic Weapons: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close