CH-147F Chinook

Northrop Grumman has been selected to supply infrared missile protection systems to the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).

The company will provide its latest generation directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) system to help safeguard the RCAF’s fleet of CH-147F Chinook helicopters.

Northrop Grumman infrared countermeasures vice-president Carl Smith said: "Battle-tested in the harshest conditions and in use around the world, Northrop Grumman’s infrared countermeasure systems have been protecting warfighters for more than 50 years.

"This mature system will give the Royal Canadian Air Force the ability to provide advanced protection against growing threats."

"Northrop Grumman’s infrared countermeasure systems have been protecting warfighters for more than 50 years."

As part of the advanced aircraft survivability equipment suite, the DIRCM system is expected to protect the Chinook and its crew by automatically detecting a missile launch, determining if it is a threat and activating a high-intensity, laser-based countermeasure system to track and destroy the missile.

The company did not disclose the type of DIRCM system to be supplied to Canada.

The DIRCM system is developed by Northrop Grumman and its teammate Selex. It is designed to safeguard large transport and rotary-wing aircraft from a range of infra-red (IR)-guided missile threats, using a laser pointer-tracker.

To date, the system has been incorporated in more than 3,250 pointer / trackers that are currently in full-rate production to protect aircraft, supporting more than one million hours of theatre operation.

A range of Northrop’s infrared countermeasure systems are now mounted or scheduled for installation on more than 1,000 military aircraft worldwide to protect 55 different types of large fixed-wing transports and rotary-wing platforms from infrared missile attacks.

Image: A CH-147F Chinook helicopter of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Photo: courtesy of Boeing.