Saab IDAS: The EW Self Protection System for the Dhruv Helicopter

Saab's IDAS is an Electronic Warfare system designed to provide self-protection for airborne platforms in sophisticated, diverse and dense threat environments. IDAS (Integrated Defence Aids Suit) is a fully integrated multi-spectral system that can be configured for radar warning, laser-warning, missile-approach-warning. The system is fully integrated with the BOP-L countermeasures dispensing system.

Saab’s IDAS system is the electronic warfare self-protection system for the Indian Army’s and Air Force’s Advanced Light Helicopter (Dhruv). Saab has a Long Term Business Agreement with HAL for the supply of IDAS that includes transfer of technology. The program is in series production phase and has received multiple production orders over the years.

IDAS has also achieved outstanding operational success with a growing list of customers in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The product has been installed on helicopters, commercial transport aircraft as well as fighters. Some of the platforms where systems/ components have been installed are Oryx, Puma, Cougar/Super Puma, Rooivalk, A109, Super Lynx 300, Dhruv, Chinook, Hawk, C-130, C-130H, Su-30, NH-90, MI 17, Embraer 120, Gripen, Saab 2000 & ERIEYE, Dash-8, Tornado.

Although IDAS has been designed as an integrated system from the onset, its modular system architecture allows the system to be configured in any combination of the three sensor-system types, as user requirements may dictate.

IDAS also comes in a compact version configured with only electro-optic sensors and countermeasure dispensing (CMD) system, designed specifically for the protection of aircraft against man-portable air-defence systems (MANPADS) and laser-based threats. A presentation on IDAS can be seen at the Saab stand in Hall C.

Easy to install

The IDAS systems offer cost-effective defensive aids, providing exceptional performance in a lightweight form for rotary winged, fixed wing and fighter aircraft.  Multiple interfaces and low box-count allows easy installation in helicopters, transport aircraft and fighters. The graphical user interface, GUI, is via a dedicated full-colour threat-display & control unit (TDCU), 3-inch displays or existing onboard colour multi-function display (MFD), plus audio signals. IDAS enables Saab to offer a comprehensive fully integrated EW self-protection solution from a single supplier.

Radar-warning function

The radar-warning function features a compact, wide-band, high-sensitivity solution with high probability of intercept (POI). The addition of an optional digital receiver (DRx) transforms the radar-warning functionality into a full-fledged ESM system.

Laser-warning function

The laser-warning functionality is achieved by using four LWS-310 sensors and a processor card in the electronic-warfare controller (EWC). It features high sensitivity, excellent threat coverage and exceptional probability of intercept (POI) for both single and multi-pulse emissions. A unique feature of this system is that it not only classifies laser emissions, but can also identify laser emission through a user-programmable threat library.

Missile-approach warning function

A unique optical design ensures high sensitivity equating to long detection range. Each sensor uses a dedicated digital signal processor making use of a distributed, hierarchical data-processing architecture to ensure optimal utilisation of information in real time.

The missile-approach warning system is in production for numerous platforms. It has been field tested and verified against various missiles including live missile firings under in-flight dynamic conditions.

Countermeasures-dispensing function (BOP-L Series)

The BOP-L dispensers are controlled via a fully integrated chaff-and-flare dispenser controller that resides in the EWC. This allows for automatic dispensing under the control of the EWC upon threat-identification. The system can handle mixed payloads per dispenser, i.e. chaff and flares mixed in each dispenser. Semi-automatic and manual firing capability is also provided. User-defined dispensing programmes/ sequences are selected by the EWC per identified threat.

Flight-line test equipment

IDAS is supported by appropriate flight-line stimulators for each type of sensor and chaff-and-flare test blocks (CFTB) for the dispensers. The flight-line test equipment is used to verify system serviceability prior to missions.