South Korean attack helos getting missile defense upgrade

South Korea is upgrading the defensive capabilities of its AH-1S helicopters with missile and hostile fire defense systems from ATK of the United States.

Richard Tomkins
An AH-1 in flight in Asia. (U.S. Army photo)
An AH-1 in flight in Asia. (U.S. Army photo)

ARLINGTON, Va., May 9 (UPI) -- An electronic warfare suite to protect aircraft from missile threats is to be provided and installed on South Korean helicopters by U.S. company ATK.

The award from the Republic of Korea Army is worth $7 million.


"We are pleased that we were selected for this program and we look forward to a long lasting relationship with the (Korean) Defense Acquisition Program Administration," said Mike Kahn, president of ATK Defense Group. "This contract supports our focus on providing high-value to our customers, allowing ATK to have continued expansion of its aircraft survivability equipment across key international platforms."

The order is for the company's AAR-47 missile warning system -- with hostile fire indication and laser warning -- and the AN/ALE-47 counter-measure dispensing system for integration on AH-1S Cobra attack helicopters.

ATK said its AAR-47 missile warning system is the only system in use that integrates missile, laser and hostile fire threat warning into a single system.

The added hostile fire capability enables aircrews to also detect small-caliber weapon fire and rocket propelled grenades, the company said.

"Aircraft face many hostile threats in combat and ATK warning systems provide the ability to detect and react," said Bill Kasting, vice president and general manager of ATK Defense Group's Defense Electronic Systems division.


The AN/ALE-47 counter-measure dispensing system is made by Symetrics Industries, which is headquartered in Florida. It dispenses chaff or flares.

The number of systems ordered and a delivery schedule for them were not disclosed.

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