Cassidian, the defence and security division of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. (EADS), yesterday said it will protect the Surion utility helicopter of the South Korean Army against missile attacks.

Following a multi-million euro contract from Korean Aircraft Industries, Cassidian will deliver a first batch of 24 of its proven AN/AAR-60 MILDS® systems (MILDS = Missile Launch Detection System), until 2013.

The order comprises about 100 sensors. Cassidian already supported the Korean company Lig Nex1 in the development of the helicopter’s electronic warfare system and delivered 36 sensors during the development phase.

“With more than 7,000 MILDS® sensors in service worldwide, MILDS® has become the standard missile warner for helicopters and wide-body aircraft today,” said Bernd Wenzler, CEO of Cassidian Electronics. "It has proven its value in protecting air vehicles, particularly against infrared-guided shoulder-fired missiles."

MILDS® is a passive imaging sensor, detecting the ultraviolet radiation signature of approaching missiles. The extremely high resolution combined with rapid processing enables very reliable threat identification and virtually eliminates false alarms. Four to five sensors provide optimal coverage and rapid reaction.

MILDS® is in service aboard a variety of rotary wing and wide body aircraft, including Tiger, NH90, CH-53, CH-47, MI-17 and C-130, the company statement said. A specific fighter version–MILDS F–is in service with the Royal Danish Airforce and Royal Norwegian Airforce F-16 fighters.

The Surion has been developed jointly by Korean Aerospace Industries and Eurocopter. Procurement is expected to be approximately 250 helicopters.