The announcement in September 2021 that Leonardo and the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) had agreed the
Based on our unparalleled knowledge and experience in the area of air platform protection, we are continuing to develop technology that will provide common protective systems for UK military aircraft to operate with confidence in today’s and future, contested air environments. It will also allow crews to respond with agility and speed to emerging threats from multiple sources. Ultimately, it is about interoperability – not only between sub-systems, but also the broader network-enabled mission to optimise and maximise freedom of manoeuvre in a hostile environment.
Building a broader battlespace picture
Historically, air platform protection has been achieved by multiple sensors working towards a common overarching objective, but not necessarily in synchronised harmony. For example, a Radar Warning Receiver (RWR), would alert the aircrew that they may need to activate an electronic jamming pod or dispense chaff. Should a missile be fired towards the aircraft, a different warning on a different display would be generated, adding further information input for the aircrew to assimilate and action.
However, Leonardo’s Modular Advanced Platform Protection System (MAPPS) provides a common platform directed through a controller that moderates and controls the whole system. By integrating disparate systems, a broader electronic battlespace picture can be built up, allowing the threat to be prioritised and appropriately countered in a synchronised manner.
MAPPS exploits the NATO Defensive Aids System (NDAS) standard that will be at the heart of the system when equipping UK fleets with these capabilities. The MAPPS approach is about creating a harmonised platform protection capability, utilising not only Leonardo’s own range of sensors and effectors, but also those of other companies, where appropriate. Bringing the whole thing together as an integrated system gives a far greater capability than the systems operating independently.