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CIRCM countermeasure ready for full-rate production

Northrop Grumman’s Common Infrared Countermeasure (CIRCM) system has moved a step closer to series production. 

In a 15 March announcement, the company said that CIRCM had been declared operationally suitable, effective, and ready for full-rate production (FRP) following a successful six-month initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) activity. The FRP decision authorises production of up to 596 units for the US Army.

A lightweight, directed infrared countermeasures system designed to replace BAE Systems’ OT-225 Advanced Threat Infrared Countermeasures (ATIRCM) system, CIRCM is designed to protect rotary-wing, tilt-rotor, and small fixed wing aircraft against infrared (IR)-guided manportable air defence systems (MANPADS). The dual-head CIRCM system comprises dual compact pointer-tracker units, dual lasers, and a system processor unit. The pointer-tracker units are provided by Leonardo in the UK and the lasers utilise Quantum Cascade Laser technology.

The Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC) conducted IOT&E of the CIRCM system from June to November 2019. Integrated on the UH-60M Black Hawk, the system flight tests took place in environments characterised by heavy foliage, littoral, mountainous, snowy, and urban and industrial infrared and ultraviolet clutter. ATEC testing incorporated hardware-in-the-loop activities from the Integrated Threat Warning Laboratory located at Wright Patterson Air Force Base (AFB), Ohio; the Threat Signal Processor-in-the-Loop facility located at Naval Air Weapons Center China Lake, California; and the Guided Weapons Evaluation Facility located at Eglin AFB, Florida.

An early variant of Northrop Grumman’s Common Infrared Countermeasure (CIRCM) system  (Northrop Grumman)

An early variant of Northrop Grumman’s Common Infrared Countermeasure (CIRCM) system (Northrop Grumman)

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