Subjects in the Focus Laser protection for Bundeswehr´s transport aircraft

Subjects in the Focus

The armed forces are facing new security challenges. Multinational missions, asymmetric conflicts as well as the potential risk of terrorist attacks threaten security and pose new requirements for equipment, technology and logistics of armed forces.

Laser protection for Bundeswehr´s transport aircraft

Diehl Defence is developing a laser-based DIRCM  (Directed Infrared Counter Measure) system for protection of the Bundeswehr ´s new A400M military transport aircraft against missile attacks. The innovative protection system employs manufacturer Elbit Systems` high-tech sensors to counter seeker-guided missiles. Such missiles, used in mobile air defence systems, pose a great danger especially during take-offs and landings.

Diehl Defence combines three of Elbit System´s combat-proven J-MUSIC (Multi-Spectral Infrared Countermeasure) - laser devices into a multi-turret DIRCM (Directed Infrared Counter Measure) system ensuring complete 360° protection of the aircraft. The new DIRCM system operates in conjunction with an on-board missile warner and focuses the highly dynamic and precisely guided laser beam directly on the attacking object´s infrared seeker. Diehl´s DIRCM system counters advanced guided missiles in safe distance from the aircraft. The system provides considerably better protection than currently employed IR (infrared) decoys, whose thermal radiation is supposed to deflect missiles from their targets.
At Diehl´s test site the entire system was already successfully activated. It was set up in a very short time span allowing proof of its essential operational functions.
Short-term realization of DIRCM self-protection  benefits not only tactical transport aircraft, but other aircraft types as well, such as the A330 Multi-Role Tanker or the P3 maritime patrol aircraft. Collaboration between Diehl and Elbit also includes development of light laser systems for employment in helicopters providing a further example of successful cross-border industrial cooperation protection our soldiers.