The US Navy has awarded a $32.2m contract to Alliant Techsystems (ATK) and BAE Systems to develop the joint allied threat awareness system (JATAS), a next-generation missile warning system.

JATAS is a missile warning system that will provide protection for the US Navy and US Marine Corps helicopter and tilt-wing aircraft.

The system will protect aircrews from shoulder-fired missiles and detect laser-guided weapons, and hostile fire from small arms and rockets.

The open architecture means other self-protection functions can easily be added in the future.

The ATK and BAE Systems team was one of two industry teams selected to execute the 16-month JATAS technology demonstration phase followed by a final selection by the US Navy.

Work will be carried out at ATK and BAE Systems facilities across the US.