recently announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with French aircraft MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) services provider Sabena technics. The agreement will see the two organisations jointly addressing the market for protected VVIP and military aircraft, with particular emphasis on the European, Middle Eastern and African markets. Under the agreement, Sabena technics will offer Leonardo’s Miysis DIRCM (Directed Infra-Red Counter Measure) to customers looking to modify and equip their aircraft with gold standard protection against infrared-guided missiles. Extensive analysis and live fire trials by UK and international customers has confirmed that Miysis DIRCM can defeat 100 of incoming infrared missiles. Leonardo and Sabena technics have been working closely together to deliver Miysis DIRCM protection to an undisclosed customer and this MoU builds on their great working relationship to facilitate collaborative approaches to international customers. 

Miysis DIRCM works by shining a high-powered laser onto a missile’s targeting system, ‘dazzling’ it and forcing the missile away from its intended target. Leonardo’s decades of experience in laser and precision targeting enables this to happen at lightning-fast speed, allowing Miysis to defend against multiple, simultaneous incoming missiles. Meanwhile, its integrated multiple-head installation ensures complete spherical protection around the aircraft, even during manoeuvres, in contrast to more basic single-head systems on the market that suffer from blind spots when the aircraft isn’t flying straight and level. 

Designed and built in Edinburgh, UK, Miysis has already been delivered to the UK Armed Forces and a number of other NATO and non-NATO nations. The new collaboration between Leonardo and Sabena technics is expected to widen that customer base. Air Forces, Governmental and private aircraft owners will be able to benefit from the combination of Sabena technics’ in-house integration capabilities for their complex modification or upgrade projects and Leonardo’s proven Miysis DIRCM solution. 

Philippe Rochet, CEO, Sabena technics: “We take pride in providing a service that satisfies our customers and generates trust, so it was a natural partnership with Leonardo, which shares this customer-focused ethos. Thanks to our strong integration capability, we have carried out and certified Self Protection solutions modifications for various operators worldwide. From engineering and installation to airworthiness approval and operational support, customers can count on our teams to build tailored solutions to the highest level of quality.” 

Tony Innes, VP Sales Radar and Advanced Targeting, Leonardo: “With Sabena technics, we have been able to establish the kind of open, collaborative way of working which experience shows underpins every successful partnership. I am very pleased to be expanding this relationship today with the signing of this MoU. Miysis DIRCM offers total protection against IR-guided missiles and we’re excited about this new channel through which aircraft owners and operators will be able to access this life-saving equipment.”

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