BAE Systems was awarded a $97.9 million contract from the US Army in late April to equip the Service’s helicopters with the company’s Limited Interim Missile Warning System (LIMWS).
The LIMWS is a 2-Color Advanced Warning System (2C-AWS) meant to address the Army’s current deficiency in technology as the Army begins the transition between the current Common Missile Warning System (CMWS), which BAE Systems has supplied the Army since 2005, and the next-generation Advanced Threat Detection System (ATDS), proposals for which the Army plans to solicit in the early 2020s.
The competitive contract was awarded through a Quick Reaction Capability (QRC) mechanism that allowed the Army to shorten the procurement time from requirement to award to about 200 days.
“Army aviators are facing an evolving threat environment that requires advanced detection capabilities,” stated Paul Markwardt, [BAE Systems’] vice president and general manager of Survivability, Targeting, and Sensing Solution protection capability that helps warfighters execute their missions.”
Initially the LIWS system, a joint offer with Leonardo DRS, the subcontractor providing the 2-color infrared sensor’s “eyes,” will go on up to 400 UH-60 Black Hawks, according to the contract, with the potential for expansion to other platforms.
Four months into the contract, BAE Systems’ Director of Optical EW Systems Cheryl Paradis stated in an email to DSJ that the program is going well, adding that the program’s goal is to have the first ones equipped by Q2 in 2020.
According to the press release, the “2C-AWS provides a foundation for the Army’s future threat detection needs and is designed to be upgradeable to meet future customer needs,” which could hint at BAE Systems’ desire to land the ATDS contract in a few years, as the provider of the currently-fielded CMWS and now the interim solution.