BAE proposes smart countermeasure system to protect US airborne forces

BAE's modular Common Infrared Countermeasure unit (Photo: BAE Systems)

BAE Systems has submitted a proposal to the US Army’s Common Infrared Countermeasure (CIRCM) program. Once operational, BAE's system will safeguard rotary and light-fixed wing aircraft, increasing survivability against the threat posed by infrared missiles. CIRCM is designed to work alongside an infrared warning system and a flare dispenser – a commonly-used countermeasure that confuses a guided missile into seeking the heat from the flare rather than that emitted by the target aircraft.

Under the proposal, CIRCM will be pushed warnings on potential infrared threats by the Common Missile Warning System (CMWS), an existing early warning system with the role of detecting and alerting pilots to a possible weapon lock. Once this determination has been made and translated, CIRCM will proceed to deploy either advanced laser technology to jam the missile's guidance system, or flares to neutralize the threat without the need for human intervention.

"The submission of our CIRCM proposal is the latest offering in our more than 40 years of experience with infrared countermeasures, delivering critical aviation survivability equipment to our armed forces," stated Director of Threat Management Solutions at BAE Systems, Bill Staib. "We are leveraging the company’s extensive expertise to submit a proposal for a next-generation aircraft survivability solution, which would protect US military aircraft and troops from existing and evolving infrared-guided threats.”

The improved countermeasure system is modular in design, capable of interfacing with existing aircraft either directly or via fiber coupling. The system is currently undergoing testing at BAE's Worrell/Weeks Aircrew Protection Center, where it will be further developed ahead of the US Army's announcement on contract awards for further development of selected candidate systems, set to take place early next year.

Source: BAE Systems

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