NEWTOWN, Conn: The next 10 years should see steady production of AAQ-24 Directed Infrared Countermeasure (DIRCM) system with growing support from the U.S. military and an international clientele.
The system is installed or scheduled for installation on several hundred military aircraft, ranging from 40 large fixed-wing to small rotary platforms. Under the name Nemesis, the system is in strong demand in the United Kingdom and Australia. In a major initiative, the Royal Netherlands Air Force is upgrading its AH-64D Apache fleet with the system.
The Pentagon’s FY10 budget includes over $1 billion for DIRCM purchases for multiple applications into the next decade. Aircraft types that will receive the system include UH-1Y, MU 22, CH-35, MH-60R/S, and AH-1Z platforms.
AAQ-24 can be adapted to various-size aircraft and mission profiles, and can be set to operate autonomously or be integrated into a defensive suite. The design uses a single-head system on helicopters and smaller fixed-wing aircraft, and a dual-head installation for large aircraft. U.S. MC-130 and AC-130 transport aircraft are being modified for installation of the AAQ 24.
A new version, known as Assault DIRCM, will color the procurement picture beginning in FY12. The system, consisting of a next-generation missile warning system (MWS) and a Joint and Allied Threat Awareness (JTAS) system, will be procured for Navy CH-53 aircraft.