Missile seeker

A Thales-led team has been awarded a £4.1m demonstrator contract by the Western European Armaments Organisation to supply a DUMAS missile seeker technology demonstrator.

As a result of initial conceptual research work carried out by QinetiQ into DUMAS (Dual Mode Active IR and Imaging IR Seeker), a Thales-led team has been awarded a £4.1m demonstrator contract by the Western European Armaments Organisation (WEAO) to supply a DUMAS missile seeker technology demonstrator.

The UK MoD, French DGA and Industry are jointly funding the four-year programme, under the auspices of the European Research Grouping Arrangement No1 (EUROPA MOU). The DUMAS project will provide demonstrator hardware for flight trials on board a French PUMA helicopter in 2007/8.

QinetiQ will work alongside Thales UK on the advanced seeker algorithms and the control processor. Safran (created by Sagem’s recent merger with Snecma) is also in the team to provide systems engineering support as a weapons systems prime contractor.

Thales UK will manage the programme and will lead the seeker integration, mechanical design, and joint algorithm design and modelling activity. Thales teams in France will provide the overall engineering lead and head the infrared and laser sensor designs and seeker trials.

DUMAS now provides the Thales led team with a key opportunity to further its capability in the emerging infrared seeker market. A production version of DUMAS is expected to have application in a number of programmes, including the UK MoD’s SPEAR (Selectable Precision Effects At Range) and the French DGA’s AASM (Armement Air Sol Modulaire) – a Modular air-to-surface weapon and the SCALP-EG stand-off long range cruise missile programmes.

DUMAS technology combines an active infrared scanning laser and a passive infrared detector which, used in conjunction with sophisticated algorithms, detects, images and identifies targets. DUMAS is expected to improve existing and new missile systems by increasing target search areas and by providing powerful automated target identification capabilities.