AH-64E Apache Now Fitted With Laser-Based MANPADS Anti-Missile Protection Devices

AH-64E Apache Now Fitted With Laser-Based MANPADS Anti-Missile Protection Devices

Responding to the dynamics of today's combat, the United States Army (US Army) is announced to be completing new capabilities on the AH-64E Apache attack helicopter. The new capability in question is not in the aspect of weapons, but rather the provision of protection devices to block MANPADS Hanud missile attacks with infrared guidance.

To complement and replace flares, the solution installed on the AH-64E US Army is the Common Infrared Countermeasures Self-protection System (CIRCM). Like the DIRCM (Directed Infrared Counter Measures) installed on the Sukhoi Su-57 Felon stealth fighter jet, CIRCM provides the helicopter a valuable additional layer of defense against heat-hunting missiles.

Quoted from Thedrive.com, it is not clear when the US Army installed CIRCM on the AH-64E attack helicopter. Information from the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS) website, only states that around 100 unspecified types of aircraft have been fitted with this laser-based jamming device.

This defensive system, made by Northrop Grumman, is said to enter full-grade production for the US Army in May 2021. As well as being installed on the AH-64E Apache, the CIRCM is also installed on some UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and will be used on the CH-47F heavy transport helicopter Chinooks.

A complete CIRCM system includes a centralized control unit and Pointers/Trackers, (trackers). On the AH-64E, the pointer/tracker is mounted on a sponge attached to the wingtip of the wing stub.

CIRCM system
CIRCM system

How it works, the laser beam on CIRCM will work quickly to target the missile guidance system, the goal is to blind the seeker on infrared missiles, both Hanud missiles and short-range air-to-air missiles.

The integration of a jamming system to blind infrared guided missiles, is the latest development in an effort to respond to operational challenges, especially by the AH-64E manned unit operating in the Middle East

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