The German defense manufacturer Hensoldt issued a press release on Wednesday, June 5 announcing that it had received a new order for its Airborne Missile Protection System (AMPS) to equip Ukraine’s helicopters.

While Hensoldt’s statement did not give details of quantities or the value of the order, the Janes defense publication says it could be worth an eight-figure dollar amount.

Hensoldt previously delivered 16 of the AMPS self-protection kits for Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU) helicopters for the first time in June 2023, working with the Czech firm Lom Praha as the system integrator.

Ukraine operates a helicopter fleet of dozens of mostly old or upgraded Soviet Mi-8, 17, and 24 airframes, a combination of the fleet it had prior to the start of the Russian 2022 full-scale invasion supplemented by donations from other countries.

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It has not been declared which helicopters were fitted with AMPS in 2023, but Hensoldt told Janes that the new order was aimed at equipping a different platform or platforms than the previous order.

According to Hensoldt AMPS is a modular, flexible, stand-alone self-protection solution for helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft that is easily configured to meet specific operational requirements, different mission profiles and enemy threats, for which there are five possible configurations:

AMPS-M: integrates its countermeasures dispenser system with up to 16 smart dispensers.

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AMPS-MV: confirms the presence, distance and velocity of approaching missiles, with the possibility of automatically initiated countermeasures.

AMPS-ML: integrates a passive Laser Warning System that detects, warns, and tracks hostile laser sources.

AMPS-MLR: integrates a radar warning receiver that detects if the aircraft has been painted by an enemy radar.

AMPS-MD: replaces flares with Directed Infrared Counter Measures (DIRCM).

It is designed to provide protection against surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) including man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS) and infrared (IR) / radar-guided missiles. It is designed to detect, automatically verify, and counter attack through the use of countermeasure decoys (flares and chaff) and by directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) that jam the missile's IR seeker but can be custom configured to meet user-specific requirements.

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According to Janes, the AMPS configuration for the second delivery remains unchanged. Each kit consists of the Missile Launch Detection Sensor (MILDS), the AMPS Control and Display Unit (ACDU), and the active confirmation system (MACS), which is intended to eliminate false alarms and determine the distance and speed of confirmed missile detections. The existing Counter Measure Dispensing Systems (CMDS) such as flare dispensers already installed on Ukrainian helicopters can operate alongside the current AMPS.

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