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By Julian Nettlefold, Editor, BATTLESPACE

18 Jun 07. It was a pleasure to visit the Chemring stand at the Paris Air Show and to be briefed by a number of key executives hosted by new PR consultant Adrain Graves and Company PR supreme Wendy Forbes-Hunter. It was of particular interest for the Editor to catch up on the Company’s activities since he was PR advisor to a number of the Group Companies when they formed part of Astra Holdings in the 1980s. The growth in the share price of around £1.75 in 1999 to a staggering £19.85 today shows how successful the company has become, particularly on the back of its successful BO 15 flare products.

The company showed the Editor the suite of new products exhibited at the Show.

Chemring Countermeasures announces new pyrophoric decoy for civil aircraft protection

Chemring Countermeasures, based in Salisbury, Wiltshire, is a key partner in a revolutionary new technology programme called CAMPS (Civil Aircraft Missile Protection System). The lightweight, integrated, self-protection system, which is designed to detect and defeat incoming hostile missile attacks on civilian airliners, has recently completed successful trials in South Africa.

CAMPS is a joint initiative between Chemring Countermeasures, Saab Avitronics and South Africa’s Naturelink Aviation, a regional carrier which operates flights over hostile areas in Africa and the Middle East. The project began three years ago, following recognition of the growing threat posed by a proliferation of MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defence Systems) and the number believed to be in the hands of ‘unauthorised’ organisations.

Chemring Countermeasures has developed a revolutionary new pyrophoric, covert decoy for the CAMPS system. It differs from traditional flares in that it is invisible to the naked eye because it operates in the infra-red spectrums. Importantly, Chemring Countermeasures has also managed to overcome all the safety issues associated with the application of pyrotechnical decoys on a civilian aircraft.

Chemring Countermeasures describes the package as a combustible area decoy (CAD), which is a non-pyrotechnic device – that burns at a relatively low temperature. It is very safe to handle. The performance characteristics of the new decoy pack directly overcome airline carriers’ objections to having flare or other pyrotechnic systems fitted to an aircraft.

CAMPS’ new electro-mechanical dispensers for the system, which are positioned around the aircraft, discharge the new non-pyrotechnical type of IR decoy. In addition, the electro-mechanical dispensers are themselves intrinsically safe, as no pyrotechnics are used to light or eject the flares.

The dispensers are also silent and installed flush with the skin of the aircraft, to reduce drag. The sealed decoy packages activate only after deployment into a fast airstream, which opens the pack. It does not pose a fire risk – as the decoy simply heats when exposed to oxygen in the atmosphere. The system is thus deemed ‘airline friendly’ in countermeasures terms.

Civil aircraft are acknowledged to be at their most vulnerable during takeoff and landing manoeuvres and the company believes that, in due course, integrated CAMPS will become part of the standard inventory on most, if not all, airliners. With CAMPS, this period of greatest vulnerability is properly addressed.

Chemring Countermeasures also showed a range of its other decoy and flare products, impulse cartridges, chaff packages and naval countermeasures.

Chemring Group’s US subsidiary, Alloy Surfaces, recently won a US $20m contract to supply its ASD BOLIR Special Material Decoys (SMD) for the UK Royal Air Force. The contract, which brings Alloy Surfaces’ order book to over US$ 160 million, allows for additional option quantities over the contract lifecycle.

At the Paris Air Show, Alloy Surfaces will exhibit its SMD products fro

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