Italy nears completion of indigenous DIRCM project
By Luca Peruzzi
The Italian Air Force and Elettronica have successfully completed the first phase of ground and flight testing of the new ELT/572 directional infrared countermeasure (DIRCM) system and are preparing to complete follow-on test and evaluation activities of the required dual-turret configuration in 2013.
ELT/572 is a fibre-optic laser that operates across a range of infrared (IR) bands to provide high-levels of jamming against target heat signature-intensity ratio power (J/S). Each ELT/572 system comprises a jamming turret, laser generator, and processor units, collectively weighing 45 kg. A single underbelly turret configuration could provide hemispherical coverage against IR missiles, but the full system will comprise a dual-turret layout offering a 'quasi-spherical' coverage with the jamming modules positioned on the sides of the protected platform.
Work is being carried out under a EUR25.4 million (USD33.4 million), three-year contract that the Italian Ministry of Defence awarded in December 2010, aiming to develop, test, and certify the full paired system for operation aboard the Italian Air Force's fleet of fixed-wing transport aircraft and new helicopters.172 of 542 words
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