Boeing and Elbit Systems signed a memorandum of understanding to offer Elbit’s directed infrared counter measure (DIRCM) system for international customers of Boeing fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft.
Northrop Grumman Guardian
The U.S. Department of State has issued a new report warning that thousands of man-portable air defense systems (Manpads) remain unaccounted for and may be “outside the control of national governments,” posing threats to the commercial aviation industry and military aircraft around the world.
Northrop Grumman has now equipped more than 400 aircraft of 42 types with its AAQ-24(V) Nemesis directed infrared countermeasures system, which is designed to protect aircraft against shoulder-launched missiles, or Manpads. The original plasma lamp-based turret gave way to the eye-safe Viper laser from 2002, and the system continues to be in great demand. Now the company is examining a range of new applications for Nemesis.
The statistics are sobering: as many as 700,000 anti-aircraft missiles for man-portable air defense systems (Manpads) have been manufactured since the 1970s. Up to 7,000 missiles may be outside state control, possibly in the hands of terrorists. Since these weapons began proliferating in the 1960s, there have been some 35 documented Manpads attacks on civil aircraft.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded two $45 million contracts for further research into shoulder-launched-missile protection systems for commercial aircraft. BAE Systems, based in Nashua, N.H., and Northrop Grumman each got the nod to take its program to the Phase II level–a time period covering the 18 months from August this year through January 2006.
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.
Fear mongering has been a growth industry in the U.S. since 8:46 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001. Sometimes our discomfort is an unspoken undercurrent; other times there is no subtlety as the forces of opportunism seek to gorge at a trough flash-flooded with public money.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is about to oversee tests of antimissile airliner protection equipment on board an American Airlines Boeing 767. By year-end, three aircraft are to be used for testing prototype equipment under development by Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems as officials seek to resolve whether the systems can be sufficiently effective and affordable for mass deployment on civil airliners.
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.