NASHUA, N.H., Nov. 21 --The US Navy's tactical aircraft directable infrared countermeasure (TADIRCM) system has successfully defeated an infrared surface-to-air missile in a live fire test using BAE Systems' Agile-Eye infrared jam head and laser. The test at the naval weapons range at China Lake, Calif., was the first time a modern infrared missile launched at a tactical fighter aircraft has been defeated by an onboard laser-based directional infrared countermeasures system.
For the live fire test, the TADIRCM system was installed on a QF-4 drone that was flying at Mach 0.55 at low altitude when the missile was launched. The missile launch was immediately detected by the two-color missile warning system using algorithms developed by the Naval Research Laboratory.
According to Ken Sarkady, the Navy execution manager for TADIRCM, "This test marks the beginning of a new era in fighter aircraft self-protection. Together, the US Navy and BAE Systems have demonstrated we could quickly and accurately point a very narrow laser beam from the QF-4 drone at a small, supersonic, man portable infrared missile and jam the missile -- causing a very large miss distance."