The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency has notified the Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) of AN/AAQ 24(V) directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) systems and associated equipment to the UAE.

The UAE Government has requested the supply of four AN/AAQ 24(V) DIRCM systems, along with 20 small laser transmitter assemblies, ten system processors, and 30 AN/AAR-54 missile warning system sensors.

The estimated $335m package includes control interface units (CIU), selective availability anti-spoofing modules (SAASM), classified user data module (UDM) cards, support and test equipment, spare and repair parts, publications and technical documentation.

"The AN/AAQ-24(V) DIRCM is designed to protect large transport and rotary-wing aircraft from a range of IR-guided missile threats, using a laser pointer-tracker."

Based on Northrop’s AN/AAQ-24(V) Nemesis, the AN/AAQ-24(V) DIRCM is designed to protect large transport and rotary-wing aircraft from a range of IR-guided missile threats, using a laser pointer-tracker.

The system defends aircraft by activating a high-intensity system of pulsed lasers upon detection of missile launches, to track and defeat the threat by confusing its guidance system without requiring input from the aircrew.

Approved by the US State Department, the proposed sale of DIRCM systems is expected to help provide protection to the UAE’s head of state aircraft.

In particular, the system is anticipated to offer a more robust capability against increased missile threats.

Boeing and Northrop Grumman have been named as the prime contractors for the FMS programme.