JED - June 2017 - 30

ADIRCM/DAIRCM: BREAKING THE
NORTHROP/BAE DIRCM DUOPOLY

US Army soldiers with 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment, Focused Targeting Force, 3rd
Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, prepare to board a CH-47 Chinook helicopter, in the city of Gardez,
Paktiya province, Afghanistan, April 27, 2011. The ATIRCM system's starboard jam head is mounted
on the aft portion of the fuel tank. (US Army)

The Journal of Electronic Defense | June 2017

30

tion to the joint CIRCM program, the US
Navy instead developed its own Assault
DIRCM (ADIRCM) program somewhat on
the sly - or as the Navy budget reports,
"PMA272 has funded this Future Naval
Capability (FNC) since 2006 as a risk
mitigator for both JATAS and the CIRCM
system" - not exactly "sticking to the
program." By February 2016, an early
production ADIRCM system was ready
and funded in the FY2017 OCO procurement budget with $27.5 million for 12
systems to be installed in 2017-18 on
three different helicopter types - the
USMC's AH-1Z and UH-1Y, and the Navy's
MH-60S. The ADIRCM system is being
produced by DRS Technologies and Daylight Solutions (who also produce the
lasers for the CIRCM program).
But the Army needs CIRCM more
than ever. Northrop Grumman's very
successful CH-53E LAIRCM (with two
laser jam heads) weighs 193 lb, and
BAE's Chinook ATIRCM weighs 160 lb,
with all-up weights for each of around
350 lb, including cabling and other Akit equipment. CIRCM's planned weight
is 85 lb (with two jamming turrets) for
the B-kit and a maximum weight (including A-kit) of only 120 lb for smaller
helicopters, such as Apaches and Black
Hawks, and 155 lb for Chinook and
V-22 aircraft. Both the Army and Navy
have needed a DIRCM for the smaller

aircraft since the 1990s. Note that in
March 2017, Leonardo DRS - seemingly also convinced about the future for
both CIRCM and ADIRCM - announced
it would acquire Daylight Solutions, "a
leading developer and supplier of quantum cascade laser products and technology," for $150 million.
Thus, though Teal Group sees the
possibility of ongoing ATIRCM-like delays in the CIRCM program, future CIRCM
production should still be very large.
Eventually, thousands of next-generation DIRCMs will be acquired, though
possibly of more than one design and
from more than one manufacturer. A
good quantitative market comparison
is with the current US IRCM market for
small and mid-sized helicopters - more
than 6,000 of BAE Systems' ALQ-144
system have been produced. Mitigating
against massive LAIRCM-like funding
will be the possible return of EW budget
cuts, as well as the goal of CIRCM as an
inexpensive system, with a $1-2 million
B-kit unit cost, much less than LAIRCM.
Our CIRCM forecasts follow planned
Army schedules fairly closely for now
(LRIP in mid-FY2018, FRP in FY2020), as
Northrop Grumman has been successful
in producing LAIRCM at high rates for
a decade. But nagging ATIRCM-like delays could certainly occur for at least a
few years.

In mid-2007, the US Navy planned to
fund a four-year development program for
the Joint Allied Threat Awareness System
(JATAS), a next-generation IR-sensorbased missile warning system (MWS). Although only JATAS MWS development was
funded, the Navy still referred to the overall program as Assault DIRCM (ADIRCM),
with plans to request funding for the
DIRCM portion beginning in FY2010. In
September 2008, the Navy issued a draft
RFP for JATAS, with TD contracts awarded to Lockheed Martin and to an Orbital
ATK/BAE Systems team in September
2009. In July 2011, the Navy awarded the
Orbital ATK team a $109.2 million contract
for JATAS EMD. But by March 2014, the
Navy instead decided to end the JATAS
program in FY2014, with remaining funds
in FY2015 and beyond to be realigned to
the Army-led CIRCM program.
The Navy eventually wanted a full
Assault DIRCM suite for almost 1,000
small and large helicopters and the MV22. IOC for the full DIRCM system was
originally planned for FY2015, but then
the Army took over as lead developer of
the re-designated CIRCM program.
Well...as we saw above, the Navy was
as skeptical of Army CIRCM schedules (as
Teal Group has been) and continued to
develop their own DIRCM system with
low-level RDT&E funding.
According to the Navy, the ADIRCM
system has been developed to offer significant savings in size, weight, and
power (SWaP) and cost avoidance, consisting of a centralized processor and
laser with high power fibers leading to
two-color IR sensors, each incorporating
a pointer tracker to allow the laser energy to be focused on incoming threats.
ADIRCM includes one processor, one laser, and four sensors.
Now that ADIRCM is an admitted reality, and entering early production even
ahead of CIRCM, we also know that the
new system has been developed by DRS
Technologies (a Leonardo company),
which refers to the system by its trade
name, Distributed Aperture IRCM (DAIRCM). In 2016, according to Shawn Black,
vice president and general manager of
DRS Technologies' Infrared Sensors and
Systems business, "DAIRCM is designed



JED - June 2017

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - June 2017

The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
World Report
DIRCM Past & Present
Technology Survey: GaN Transistors
EW 101
Report from the 42nd Annual Collaborative EW Symposium
AOC News
2017 AOC International Election Guide
JED Quick Look
Index of Advertisers
JED - June 2017 - intro
JED - June 2017 - cover1
JED - June 2017 - cover2
JED - June 2017 - 3
JED - June 2017 - 4
JED - June 2017 - 5
JED - June 2017 - The View From Here
JED - June 2017 - 7
JED - June 2017 - Conferences Calendar
JED - June 2017 - 9
JED - June 2017 - Courses Calendar
JED - June 2017 - 11
JED - June 2017 - From the President
JED - June 2017 - 13
JED - June 2017 - 14
JED - June 2017 - insert1
JED - June 2017 - insert2
JED - June 2017 - The Monitor
JED - June 2017 - 16
JED - June 2017 - 17
JED - June 2017 - 18
JED - June 2017 - 19
JED - June 2017 - 20
JED - June 2017 - 21
JED - June 2017 - World Report
JED - June 2017 - 23
JED - June 2017 - DIRCM Past & Present
JED - June 2017 - 25
JED - June 2017 - 26
JED - June 2017 - 27
JED - June 2017 - 28
JED - June 2017 - 29
JED - June 2017 - 30
JED - June 2017 - 31
JED - June 2017 - 32
JED - June 2017 - 33
JED - June 2017 - 34
JED - June 2017 - Technology Survey: GaN Transistors
JED - June 2017 - 36
JED - June 2017 - 37
JED - June 2017 - 38
JED - June 2017 - 39
JED - June 2017 - 40
JED - June 2017 - 41
JED - June 2017 - 42
JED - June 2017 - EW 101
JED - June 2017 - 44
JED - June 2017 - Report from the 42nd Annual Collaborative EW Symposium
JED - June 2017 - AOC News
JED - June 2017 - 47
JED - June 2017 - 2017 AOC International Election Guide
JED - June 2017 - 49
JED - June 2017 - 50
JED - June 2017 - 51
JED - June 2017 - 52
JED - June 2017 - 53
JED - June 2017 - 54
JED - June 2017 - 55
JED - June 2017 - JED Quick Look
JED - June 2017 - Index of Advertisers
JED - June 2017 - 58
JED - June 2017 - cover3
JED - June 2017 - cover4
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