Leonardo DRS, Inc. announced that the first Distributed Aperture Infrared Countermeasure (DAIRCM) advanced aircraft protection systems have been deployed on U.S. Air Force HH-60G helicopters in support of a Joint Urgent Operational Needs Statement.
Under the Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) contract, Leonardo DRS will integrate DAIRCM kits on the HH-60G Pave Hawk combat search and rescue (CSAR) helicopters.
“Leonardo DRS is proud to enhance the HH-60G helicopters with a state-of-the-art protection system,” said John Baylouny, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Leonardo DRS. “The DAIRCM system will immediately enable combat survivability for our flight crews while supporting their ability to accomplish diverse mission sets in any operational setting.”
The AN/AAQ-45(V), DAIRCM, is at the forefront of aircraft defensive protection technology and was developed by Leonardo DRS through three of its business units: Airborne & Intelligence Systems, Daylight Solutions, and Electro-Optical & Infrared (EO/IR) Systems. As missile and other anti-aircraft threats continue to evolve and expand around the world, frontline helicopters will require a small but capable system to defeat these threats.
The DAIRCM is an aircraft protection system developed by DRS Technologies (now Leonardo DRS) that combines missile detection, hostile fire indication, and situational awareness with a missile defeat capability that detects incoming threats and can counter and jam them.
Spun out from technology originally developed by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), the system uses a single sensor for two-colour infrared (IR) missile warning and wide field of view gimbal for laser-based directed IR countermeasures
HH-60G Pave Hawk
Sikorsky HH-60G Pave Hawk is a twin-turboshaft engine helicopter in service with the U.S. Air Force. It is a derivative of the UH-60 Black Hawk and incorporates the Air Force PAVE electronic systems program.
The primary mission of HH-60G Pave Hawk is recovery of personnel under hostile conditions, including combat search and rescue (CSAR). It can conduct day or night operations into hostile environments.
Because of its versatility, the HH-60G may also perform peacetime operations such as civil search and rescue, emergency aeromedical evacuation (MEDEVAC), disaster relief, international aid and counter-drug activities.