RNLAF NH90 MASE now in operational use

RNLAF NH90 MASE now in operational use 27 Apr, 18, Source: Terma

The first MASE equipped Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) NH90 helicopter has successfully passed a comprehensive test program consisting of ground, flight, and certification tests. It is now awaiting operational use.

The MASE installation consists of the proven modular Aircraft Survivability Equipment concept including the ALQ-213 EW controller, a modular self-protection pod equipped with MILDS-F Missile Warning System, and the Advanced Countermeasures Dispenser System updated with the latest generation Terma Digital Sequencer Switch.

The installation consists of the ALQ-213 EW controller, a Missile Warning System, and the Advanced Countermeasures Dispenser System (Image appears courtesy of RNLAF)

The pod is mounted on a dedicated carrier for optimum threat detection and countermeasures dispensing without compromising other NH90 capabilities. Control and operation of the system are provided through the Electronic Warfare Management System, ALQ-213, in the latest version. The basic design of the installation allows for future growth, such as Directed Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) or new sensors for e.g. radar warning or laser warning. 
 
As part of the NH90 specific requirements, Terma’s system has been optimized to withstand the harsh operating environment helicopters are exposed to when operating over salt water. In addition, design considerations have been taken to ensure that the installation is practical to handle and operate from a helicopter deck on a frigate, such as easy access to and installation of the pod even in rough weather conditions.

In 2012, Terma completed a study program for RNLAF to identify the best possible way of protecting the NH90 aircraft against IR seeking missiles. The study identified a number of solutions all centered around a Missile Warning System, the Terma Advanced Countermeasures Dispenser System, and ALQ-213 Electronic Warfare (EW) controller.

Based on the recommendations from the study program, Terma was contracted in 2014 to integrate the Terma Modular Aircraft Survivability Equipment (MASE) onto the RNLAF NH90 helicopters to meet current needs and prepare them for future growth options.

The modularity of the MASE pod has enabled tailoring for a number of helicopter platforms, including AH-64D, EH-101, Mi-17, Mi-24, and AS 550 Fennec. Terma’s electronic self-protection systems are in use on the AS 532 U2 Cougar Mk2, the F-16 fighter, C-130 transport aircraft, and other aircraft throughout the world.

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