The sophisticated Advanced Threat Infrared Countermeasures (ATIRCM) system developed by BAE Systems has been approved for export by the U.S. Department of Defense. This opens the door for sales of this missile warning/stopping system to allied nations around the world. According to Bill Staib, director of Threat Management Solutions at BAE Systems, “In today’s environment with the proliferation of surface-to-air missiles, a proven aircraft survivability system to counter advanced threats meets an immediate need. We are seeing tremendous international interest for this system, which has proven to be both highly effective and reliable since its fielding in 2009.”
The ATIRCM system incorporates BAE’s Common Missile Warning System to detect an incoming missile and communicate the missile’s position relative to the system’s host aircraft. The ATIRCM system then locates and tracks the incoming threat and returns a high-power laser beam to defeat the missile’s infrared seeker, effectively blinding its guidance system and preventing it from targeting an aircraft. The ATIRCM system was developed in partnership with the U.S. Army and is currently deployed on military helicopters. It has proven effective in protecting both rotary and fixed-wing aircraft and has been deployed on aircraft in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2009.