Northrop Grumman’s Common Infrared Countermeasures system recently completed another round of U.S. Army testing by demonstrating its capabilities on a UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter.
The flight test was conducted at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala., by the Redstone Test Center. The Northrop Grumman CIRCM system was subjected to rigorous conditions over a six-week period, after which the company said it successfully completed the entire government-designed test plan. The system demonstrated its effectiveness under intense aircraft environments that included turns, banks, gunfire, flares, clutter, multiple shots, rotor blades and engine exhaust. It also demonstrated its performance capabilities against captive missile seekers.
“With each opportunity to prove its effectiveness, our CIRCM system has performed well,” said Jeffrey Q. Palombo, vice president and general manager, Northrop Grumman, Land and Self Protection Systems Division. “This flight test performance correlated extremely well with the results of our lab testing demonstration to show the maturity of our algorithms and software, which is something that many new programs can struggle with. Drawing upon more than 1 million hours of laser-based directional infrared countermeasure system operation in theatre, plus 1,000 hours of instrumented CIRCM tests, allowed us to successfully handle the complex scenarios encountered during the flight testing phase of this program.”
The Northrop Grumman CIRCM system is a lightweight and highly reliable laser-based countermeasure system. Using an open architecture approach, it is designed to integrate and operate with legacy and emerging missile warning systems for rotary wing, tilt-rotor and small fixed-wing aircraft across the military services. Northrop Grumman is developing its solution with partners SELEX ES and Daylight Solutions. Northrop Grumman’s infrared countermeasures systems have been installed on more than 850 aircraft representing 55 different aircraft types, including large and small fixed-wing, rotary-wing and tilt-wing platforms.
“With a rich legacy of producing reliable infrared countermeasures systems, Northrop Grumman has proven it can take systems like this through Milestone C and into full-rate production,” Palombo said. “Our open architecture CIRCM system brings best-of-breed technology to the warfighter to handle current and future threats.”