Suite of Infrared Countermeasures [SIIRCM]
AN/ALQ-212 Advanced Threat Infrared Countermeasures (ATIRCM)
AN/AAR-57 Common Missile Warning System (CMWS)
The Suite of Infrared Counter Measures (SIIRCM) is a aircraft defense system centered around an improved lamp/laser jammer, coupled with the new missile warner (CMWS), an advanced flare dispenser, and an advanced flare munition. This system was intended to replace the existing AN/ALQ-144, M206, and AN/ALQ-156 families of jammers, flare launchers, and missile warners. SIIRCM/CMWS was a large-scale horizontal integration of IRCM technology across 17 different Army, Navy, and Air Force rotary and fixed wing aircraft. Additionally, the Armored Systems Modernization PEO investigated the SIIRCM/CMWS technology for protection against Anti-Tank Guided Munitions (ATGM) since ATGMs also employ infrared seekers.
The ATIRCM/CMWS is part of the Army's Suite of Integrated Infrared (IR) Countermeasures (SIIRCM) concept of IR protection. This SIIRCM concept also includes Advanced Infrared Countermeasures Munitions (AIRCMM), a new-development set of IR flare decoys, and passive IR features. These features are the host platform modifications intended to reduce the IR signatures, and include such things as engine exhaust/heat suppression and IR-absorbing paints. For the Army only, the ATIRCM/CMWS was intended to be integrated with the Advanced Threat Radar Jammer (ATRJ), a new-development Radio Frequency (RF) system, to provide overall IR and RF self-protection.
Features of SIIRCM components include host platform modifications such as engine exhaust/heat suppression, and special coatings, intended to reduce the platform IR signature. The ATIRCM is part of the US Army's SIIRCM concept of IR protection. The CMWS consists of six (6) electro-optical sensors and an internally mounted Electronics Control Unit (ECU), which detects incoming missiles, provides warning to the crew, and dispenses countermeasures. CMWS is a totally passive detection system, requiring only the electro-optic (EO) signature of the missile plume. The ECU determines the threat status of detection's using flight parameter data received from the aircraft Central Computer (CC). The ECU provides missile threat declaration, Direction-Of-Arrival (DOA) and elevation information to the CC which generates the crewstation display and warning tone. The CMWS allows for automatic or manual AN/ALE-45 Countermeasures Dispenser (CMD) operation.
The SIIRCM/CMWS contributes to full-dimensional protection by improving individual aircraft (or ground vehicle) probability of survival against an increasing worldwide proliferation of advanced infrared (IR) guided missiles. CMWS is a software reprogrammable system intended to provide automatic passive missile detection, threat declaration, positive warning of a post launch missile which is homing on the host platform, countermeasures effectiveness assessment, false alarm suppression, and cues to other onboard systems such as expendable countermeasures dispensers. For the Army only, the ATIRCM adds active directional countermeasures via an arc lamp and laser.
The ATIRCM/CMWS is comprised of six types of line replaceable units (LRUs). The installed LRU configuration may vary by platform from the baseline.
The AN/AAR-57 Common Missile Warning System is the detection component of a suite of countermeasures being developed Jointly to increase survivability of current generation combat, airlift and special operations aircraft against the threat posed by infrared guided missiles. The goal is to establish a system design with fit, function, and interfaces interchangeable across all Army, Air Force and Navy/Marine Corps "non-low observable" platforms. The Electronic Control Unit (ECU, baseline of one for both ATIRCM and CMWS) controls other LRUs, provides countermeasures selection and initiation, controls built-in-test (BIT), and provides the platform interface. The Electro-Optic Missile Sensors (EOMS, baseline four for ATIRCM and six for CMWS) passively detect the presence of energy within a specific band of interest, and transmit information to the ECU.
AN/ALQ-212 Advanced Threat Infrared Countermeasures (ATIRCM) baseline consists of three subsystems: the Common Missile Warning System (CMWS), the Advanced Threat Infrared Jammer (ATIRJ), and the Improved Countermeasures Dispenser (ICMD). These three subsystems are fully integrated through the Electronic Control Unit (ECU). The ATIRJ counters IR-guided missile systems using information from the CMWS through the ECU to locate and jam with direct laser and lamp energy. The ATIRJ will replace the AN/ALQ-144A IR countermeasure set. The ICMD will be capable of loading and employing three or more types of expendables as directed by the ECU software. The baseline ICMD consists of a sequencer and two dispenser assemblies. While currently an Army-only program, SIIRCM will likely involve joint service integration after initial testing efforts have been completed. Developmental testing, operational testing, and system evaluation will be completed by Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC) and Army Evaluation Center (AEC) organizations. ATIRCM is required to demonstrate integration with the Army Suite of Integrated Radio Frequency Countermeasures (SIRFC). The Navy Integrated Defensive Electronic Counter Measures (IDECM) program is required to demonstrate integration of CMWS in the IDECM suite.
The AN/ALQ-212 ATIRCM/CMWS B-kit or Group B components are comprised of six types of Line Replaceable Units (LRUs) The AN/AAR-57 CMWS B-kit or Group B is comprised of one LRU type. The Electronic Control Unit (ECU) controls the other LRUs, provides countermeasures selection and initiation, controls Built-in Test (BIT), and provides the host platform interface. The four Electro-Optic Missile Sensors (EOMSs) passively detect the presence of energy within a specific band of interest, and transmit information to the ECU. The Jam Head Control Unit performs the laser and lamp jamming control functions for the two Infrared Jam Heads (IRJHs) once provided a missile handoff from the CMWS. The Infrared Jam Laser provides laser energy to the IRJHs. The ICMD consists of two "smart" dispensers with automatic payload sensing and one AN/ALE-47 sequencer. The A-kit or Group A, which is the host platform modification necessary to install the B-kit and make it operational, is also being designed for each host platform.
Hostile missile launch was identified by the CMWS' sensor and processed through the system's electronic control unit, programmed to select the appropriate countermeasure, flares, or, for those platforms so equipped, the ATIRCM jam head. If selected by the ECU, and the ATIRCM jam head rotates to the general location of the missile signature. Data from the head's infrared tracker and from the CMWS sensor are correlated and validated by the system's jamming control unit, and the head is directed to lock onto the missile. Finally, the jam head xenon arc lamp and laser are activated to simultaneously jam the simulated threat. The entire sequence of operations, from detection to jamming, occurrs in less than a second.
Advances in laser technology, energy transmission, and jamming techniques are under evaluation for an all laser solution (eliminate non-coherent sources) as a P3I to the Advanced Threat Infrared Countermeasure System (ATIRCM)/Common Missile Warning System (CMWS). These improvements were intended to provide the capability to counter both present and future multi-color imaging focal plane array and non-imaging missile seekers. A tunable multi-line laser with a fiber optic transmission line and advanced jamming algorithms was to be live fire tested using the Advanced Threat Infrared Countermeasures (ATIRCM) testbed. The goal was a 20x reduction in laser jam head volume, 35 lbs in weight reduction, and a 2x reduction in ATIRCM/CMWS power consumption, and a 6x improvement in jam to signal ratio.
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