Report: Leonardo to Supply Laser Systems for US Military Aircraft - M5 Dergi
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Report: Leonardo to Supply Laser Systems for US Military Aircraft

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Leonardo DRS has secured a contract to provide its Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL) solution for US military aircraft.

QCL is integrated into the fifth-generation Common Infrared Countermeasure (CIRCM) systems used to increase the survivability of aircraft.

The commercial off-the-shelf laser is designed with a lightweight structure and multi-color optical beams to defend against incoming anti-aircraft missiles.

Through the QCL, the CIRCM can track and neutralize threats with an unlimited number of rounds.

The laser’s critical capability can also be used for other tactical applications in addition to protecting rotary wing, tiltrotor, and small fixed-wing aircraft.

“We are proud to continue to provide this critical technology…to ensure the survivability of our flight crews from surface-to-air missile threats,” DRS Daylight Solutions SVP and General Manager Dr. Timothy Day said.

“Our ground-breaking quantum cascade laser technology represents the ultimate choice for aircraft survivability. As missile and other anti-aircraft threats continue to evolve and proliferate around the world, frontline helicopters will require capable systems like CIRCM to defeat these threats.”

Common Infrared Countermeasure

Northrop’s CIRCM is fitted into approximately 1,500 aircraft of 80 different types to date.

In May, the company delivered the 500th CIRCM shipset to the US Army as part of an ongoing contract signed in 2021.

Simultaneously, the company received a $147-million production order for 336 additional CIRCMs to the service.

The latest procurement marks the fourth annual order placed under the $959-million CIRCM full-rate production that is expected to conclude by April 2026.

The CIRCM achieved its initial operational capability in February 2023, positioning the technology to support over 1,500 US Army aircraft.

Common Infrared Countermeasure (CIRCM) system
Northrop Grumman shows its Common Infrared Countermeasure (CIRCM) system. Photo: Northrop Grumman

“CIRCM’s cutting-edge capability has been proven against the most advanced threats and the modular open systems approach brings flexibility for the future,” Northrop Grumman Navigation, Targeting, and Survivability VP Bob Gough said during the first CIRCM contract award.

“Northrop Grumman and our partners have proven the mature production capacity to deliver and support the US Army’s mission with this life-saving technology today, and for years to come.”

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