Middle East Continues to Provide Opportunity for Key IR Missile Countermeasures System

by Andrew Dardine, Electronics Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

With the recent approval by the U.S. State Department of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the United Arab Emirates of AAQ-24(V) Directional Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) systems, the key airborne self-protection device has yet again secured a new customer in the Middle East. The State Department has previously approved sales of the system to Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.

Valued at $335 million, the sale to the UAE includes four AAQ-24(V) DIRCM systems as well as 20 Small Laser Transmitter Assemblies, 10 system processors, and 30 AAR-54 Missile Warning System sensors. As with previous sales to the region, the UAE would use the DIRCM system to help provide protection for head of state aircraft.

The next several years should also see steady production of the AAQ-24 for the U.S. Navy. The system is currently installed or scheduled for installation on several hundred military aircraft, ranging from large fixed-wing to small rotary-wing platforms. Under the name Nemesis, the system is in strong demand in the United Kingdom and Australia.

The Pentagon’s FY15 budget includes $469 million for DIRCM purchases through 2019 for the Navy alone. Aircraft types that will receive or have received the system include the UH-1Y, MU-22, CH-35, MH-60R/S, and AH-1Z platforms, as well as MC-130 and AC-130 transport aircraft.

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