Critical Electronic Self-Protection Systems Boost German Chinook Sale

A CH-47 Chinook helicopter fires flares on Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany (U.S. Army Photo by Pfc. Jacob Bradford). – US DoD

The May 11th State Department approval of a Foreign Military Sale to Germany of CH-47F Chinook Helicopters, also puts in motion the purchase of critical electronic self-protection systems, amid a phalanx of accompanying support technology. The request to buy 60 CH-47F Block II Cargo Helicopters and related equipment for an estimated cost of $8.5 billion is all part of a much-needed German military effort to replenish and enhance its rotary-wing transport capabilities.

An accompanying order for 72 AAR-57 Common Missile Warning Systems (60 installed, 12 spares) will provide some of the front line defense for the helicopters. The system uses a set of staring focal plane arrays to detect the launch and approach of a missile, and then cue a number of decoys and flare dispensers.

Over recent years the AAR-57 has been produced for the U.S. military and a long list of international clients via FMS of U.S.-produced tactical aircraft such as the German Chinook order. In August 2022, the State Department approved an FMS to Australia of UH-60M Black Hawk Helicopters and related equipment including 44 AAR-57 systems for an estimated cost of $1.95 billion.

Accompanying AVR-2B laser detecting sets are designed to detect and identify the source of laser emissions, among other advanced capabilities. The system has a long production history for the U.S. and export customers, equipping such rotorcraft platforms as the CH-47, AH-64 Apache, UH-60M Black Hawk, and the V-22 Osprey. The same August 2022, Black Hawk FMS to Australia that saw the order for AAR-57, also included the AVR-2B.

Finally, for this brief survey of only some of the many important systems included with the recent Chinook FMS, APR-39C(V)1 radar detecting sets detect and provide alerts to the aircrew of surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) and anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) pulse, pulse-Doppler, and continuous wave (CW) radar engagement. Like most of the vital systems mentioned above, APR-39 has also been featured in recent years as an essential component in the safeguarding of advanced tactical aircraft.

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