Military Embedded Systems

Infrared pointer tracker to equip Army's countermeasure system


August 24, 2021

Emma Helfrich

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Leonardo photo.

UNITED KINGDOM. Leonardo has signed a long-term pricing agreement with Northrop Grumman Corporation to provide pointer/trackers for the U.S. Army’s Common Infrared Countermeasures (CIRCM) program as it enters full-rate production.

The five-year agreement could see Leonardo provide more than 1,200 pointer/trackers in addition to the 500 already delivered. Leonardo will deliver the pointer/trackers from its site in Edinburgh, U.K., which designs and produces world-class Directed Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) technology for the U.K. and its allies.

The CIRCM system is a countermeasure that will protect U.S. Army aircrews and their aircraft from incoming missiles. It works by targeting the threat’s infrared (IR) guidance system with a powerful laser. Leonardo’s pointer/tracker then directs the laser onto the missile’s seeker.

The two companies began working together in 1995 on joint development of the AN/AAQ-24(V) Nemesis DIRCM for the U.S. Department of Defense and U.K. Ministry of Defence.  Leonardo developed and manufactured the pointer/tracker units for the Nemesis system. 

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