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New lasers could protect helos from RPGs

Check out John's post at Defense Tech about the Army's aspirations for a new generation of countermeasures that could protect its helicopters from missiles and small-arms fire. In particular, he profiles IIT's Common Infrared Countermeasures system, which company officials say will be able to spot and blind missiles or bad guys in the crucial moments before they can damage an American aircraft.

Wrote Reed:

“We’ve built in a number of capabilities that are adjunct capabilities that come along and give us the possibility of defeating other threats and fulfilling other missions and one of those is hostile fire deterrent,” explained John Janis, ITT’s chief engineer for CIRCM during an interview with DT. “In essence, what you do there is make it impossible for a human to observe your aircraft and aim his weapon at your aircraft by creating a distracting light source. That has been done in the past and is a proven technology and one that we can do out of the same apertures and out of the same system that we can do out of our infrared heat seeking missile countermeasures.”

Still, for this to work, the aircraft will need an automatic threat warning system similar to the ones that rapidly que DIRCM-style lasers toward incoming heat-seeking missiles. “Those systems are in development,” added Janis. To make such a system work, you’d have to accurately slave a laser to a system that can quickly detect the firing point of gunfire or man with an RPG.

Tricky, but the company thinks it can work. You can watch a simulation demonstrating this idea here. Show Full Article

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