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By Bulbul Singh

10 Nov 08. India has floated a global tender for the joint development of a Laser Based Directed Infrared Counter Measure System (DIRCM). The selected foreign vendor will be required to transfer technology to India’s state owned Defence Avionics Research Establishment (DARE) based in Bangalore.

Defence Ministry sources said, “Though bids are being sought from vendors in the United States, it is unlikely that foreign companies will be able to transfer technology to the Indian entity in this case, especially with the new establishment in Washington.”

Sources said chances of European companies are high in this multi-million dollar competition.

The DIRCM will be used to protect aircraft and helicopters against heat-seeking MANPAD ground-to-air missiles. The DIRCM consists of a jamming turret with a thermal camerawhich directs the jamming laser beams, at the required wavelengths, towards the incoming missile. The turret is connected to a central processing unita nd interfaces to the
Missile Warning System (MAWS).

The operational requirements warrant that the power required for jamming in any particular band is equal to or greater than 30 KW/sterdian which is the power of the laser beam.

The protection envelope of the DIRCM system should be capable to provide protection against missiles fired from the lower hemisphere below the aircraft and the system should have a coverage of 360° Azimuth.

The DIRCM system should also be capable of engaging two consecutive threats when there is at least 3 seconds difference between the times of the warnings received from the MWS.

The requirements warrant that the turret should be able to rotate 180 degrees in A azimuth in less than 0.5 seconds and the turret should be able to rotate 60 degrees in elevation in less than 0.5 seconds. The laser should be able to emit laser beams in Bands I Band I and Band IV simultaneously.

When a threat is detected by the MAWS, its coordinates (elevation and azimuth) will be transferred to the system. Subsequently, the DIRCM turret will automatically be directed towards the approaching threat. In the process the system will acquire and track the missile, and will direct the laser beam towards the missile’s seeker, disrupting its guidance system and causing it to break lock and miss the protected aircraft.

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