JED - April 2009 - (Page 15)

the DIRCM SYSTEM DEBUTS ON USMC HELICOPTERS The first operational flight of a US Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter equipped with a laser-based directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) system for protection against shoulder-launched IR-guided missiles occurred in the Al Anbar Province of western Iraq January 18. The helicopter belonged to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 466 of the 3rd Marine Air Wing from Camp Pendleton, CA. Navy CAPT Paul Overstreet, Commander of the Advanced Tactical Aircraft Protection Systems Program Office (PMA-272) at Naval Air Systems Command, NAS Patuxent River, MD, told JED that three of the large CH-53Es fitted with the AAQ-24 DIRCM system were following in Iraq. Additional CH-53Es were being outfitted with the DIRCM kits at a rate of three per month at MCAS New River, NC, and MCAS Miramar, CA, and then shipped to Iraq aboard Air Force C-5 transports. The Navy and Marine Corps call their DIRCM system, built by Northrop Grumman’s Defensive Systems Division (Rolling Meadows, IL), the AAQ-24(V)25 Department of the Navy Large Aircraft IRCM (DoN LAIRCM) system. The Marine Corps’ CH-53Es receiving the DoN LAIRCM systems are the first US military aircraft to be outfitted with the new two-color IR missile warning system (MWS). (The Air Force version of LAIRCM uses the ultra-violet-based AAR-54, but it soon will be upgraded to the two-color IR MWS.) Overstreet said the DoN LAIRCM systems on the CH-53Es in Iraq had proven to be very effective and had suffered no operational failures. The two-color IR MWS was providing highly desirable low false-alarm rates, he said. Last fall, PMA-272 conducted an early operational assessment of DoN LAIRCM before buying the first 32 systems and starting to field them on CH-53Es bound for Iraq. A two-month full operational test of the system on the CH-53E started early monitor news The Journal of Electronic Defense | April 2009 | last month at Patuxent River and China l h P Ri d Chi Lake, CA, and, if successful, will lead to a full-rate production decision, he said. The program is on schedule to achieve an initial operational capability with 12 CH53Es outfitted by the end of May. Marine Corps CH-46E and CH-53D helicopters also are slated to receive the DoN LAIRCM system after the CH-53Es. Development testing on the CH-46E to validate the DoN LAIRCM installation will begin this summer and on the CH53D in September. The Corps plans to install DoN LAIRCM on a total of 156 helicopters (split between the CH-46E, CH53D and CH-53E), Overstreet said. Each of them will have two laser jam heads (one on each side of the aircraft) and five warning sensors. The DoN LAIRCM system with the two-color IR MWS sensors, which also can trigger the dispensing of expendable flare decoys, is the most advanced DIRCM system in the world, he said, and greatly enhances the survivability of the CH-53E. PMA-272 plans to develop a more advanced MWS for Marine Corps and Navy rotary-wing aircraft called the Joint and Allied Threat Awareness System (JATAS), which ultimately will replace the two-color IR MWS Industry bids were MWS. I d l bid submitted last month. NAVAIR anticipates awarding a 16-month Technology Development contract to each of two companies late this summer, and then will down-select to a single company for an Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase in FY2011. The lead platform for JATAS is the Marine Corps’ new MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, which currently counters shoulder-fired IR missile threats using the AAR-47 UV MWS built by ATK to trigger flare dispensing. The latest AAR-47B(V)2 version, installed on the MV-22 and being retrofitted on Marine and Navy AH-1, UH-1 and H-60 helicopters equipped with the AAR-47A(V)2, embeds a laser warning detector in each sensor head and offers improved clutter detection and reduced false alarms. These helicopters are too small to be fitted with the DoN LAIRCM system but ultimately will receive the JATAS MWS. The MV-22 can accommodate the DoN LAIRCM, but the Marine Corps leadership decided to give priority to installing it first on the low-and-slow-flying CH-53s and CH-46s, Overstreet said. The MV-22 is less vulnerable to IR missile threats 15

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - April 2009

JED - April 2009
Contents
The View From Here
Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
Lethal SEAD
Airborne SIGINT Forecast
RF Power Sources for IED Jammers
Roost Profile
EW 101
AOC News
JED Sales Offices
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look

JED - April 2009

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