As the culmination of a jointly funded cooperation program between Italian electronics house Elettronica and the Elop business of Elbit Systems, the Israeli company yesterday announced a $15 million contract to supply directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) systems for installation on Italian aerial platforms, including the Lockheed Martin C-130J and Alenia C-27J transports, and AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters.
Directional Infrared Counter Measures
Selex Galileo is the largest supplier of airborne electronic warfare (EW) equipment in Europe, and third only in the world behind BAE Systems North America and Northrop Grumman. This part of the Italian group’s business is in the hands of UK-based operation, which now boasts annual revenues of nearly £600 million ($980 million) and an order book of well over £1 billion ($1.64 billion).
Italy’s Elettronica has entered the last phase of development of its directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) system for the anti-missile protection market, and is due to complete ground tests and flight trials by the end of 2009. The project was launched in 2007 to create a system that would protect aircraft from infrared-guided (“heat-seeking”) surface-to-air missiles, and in particular, man-portable air defense systems.
Newly acquired Boeing Chinook CH-47F heavy-lift helicopters supplied to the royal Netherlands air force are to be fitted with a state-of-the-art modular pod designed to protect it from missiles fired by hostile ground forces.
Northrop Grumman’s laser directional infrared countermeasure (DIRCM) system has successfully thwarted simulated heat-seeking missile attacks on an AH-64D Apache helicopter. The series of 31 tests took place at Vliehors Test Range in Netherlands on a Dutch aircraft.The system is self-contained in a pod and thus removable. It automatically detects a missile launch.
The U.S. Marine Corps has chosen Northrop Grumman’s directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) system for its CH-53E helicopters in a $19.7 million deal. It will be the first application of the company’s two-color infrared missile warning sensor system coupled with its mini-pointer/tracker assembly, forming a DIRCM suite to protect the CH-53Es from threat missiles.
BAE Systems has begun trials of its Jeteye laser-based system for protecting commercial airliners from man-portable missile attack. These are due to be completed by the end of January, when a U.S. supplementary type certificate is due to be issued.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has certified BAE Systems’ Matador infrared countermeasures (IRCM) missile jamming system as an approved product for national defense. The approval comes under the DHS’ Support Anti-terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies (Safety) Act, passed by Congress in 2002.
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