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BAE Systems' Advanced Threat Infrared Countermeasures System Credited With Saving Helicopters In Combat Operations

A U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook, equipped with the CMWS/ATIRCM suite, expends flares during recent flight tests. U.S. Army photo
NASHUA, New Hampshire — BAE Systems' Advanced Threat Infrared Countermeasures (ATIRCM) system is being fielded on U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook helicopters, and has already been credited with defeating infrared-guided missiles since it went into service on the Chinook fleet six months ago.

The ATIRCM system is a laser-based, directable countermeasures system that protects helicopters against attack by missiles. Since its fielding, ATIRCM has exceeded all reliability performance objectives and provided 100 percent operational availability for the mission.

"ATIRCM was put to the test in a complex situation where Chinook aircraft were engaged by multiple infrared, man-portable air-defense missiles," said Jim Crouch, vice president and general manager of survivability and protection solutions for BAE Systems. "Defeating the threat is the ultimate measure of its worth, and ATIRCM has provided the warfighter confidence in the aircraft's survivability while performing the mission in hostile locations."

The ATIRCM provides passive warning of a missile approach using BAE Systems' AN/AAR-57 Common Missile Warning System (CMWS), which detects the missile, rejects any false alarms, and cues the ATIRCM jam head to the missile's location. When the jam head locates the missile with its IR tracking system, it emits a high-energy beam to defeat the missile's infrared seeker. The fielded inventory of the AN/ALQ-212(V) ATIRCM/CMWS suite has greatly enhanced overall aircraft survivability against current and evolving threats.

"The ATIRCM suite has proven to be the most reliable laser-based, directable countermeasures system on combat helicopters today," added Crouch. "We are rapidly fielding this system so that all deployed Chinooks are protected against IR-guided missile threats. This technology is saving lives, and we’ll continue to deliver the best-possible protection for the warfighter."

BAE Systems is the lead systems integrator for the ATIRCM/CMWS suite. The company has invested in infrastructure to support the program and maintains field personnel who perform real-time ATIRCM/CMWS suite assessment, maintenance, and upgrades.

About BAE Systems

BAE Systems is a global defense, security and aerospace company with approximately 107,000 employees worldwide. The Company delivers a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions and customer support services. In 2009 BAE Systems reported sales of £22.4 billion (US$ 36.2 billion).

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