The US Army aircraft survivability equipment (ASE) project office has awarded a three-year contract to Alion Science and Technology for the ongoing design and development of army aircraft countermeasures systems.

Under the contract, the company will provide subject matter expertise to analyse designs for the new common infrared countermeasures (CIRCM) system and provide recommendations to system testing, test failures and failure investigations.

The CIRCM is a laser-based system that will be used by the army to upgrade its advance threat infrared countermeasures (ATIRCM) system for increased protection from infrared guided missiles.

The systems are designed to be fully integrated with military service aircraft countermeasures equipment suites that include passive missile warning and detection.

Alion Technology Solutions senior vice-president and manager Chris Amos said that the improvements to the aircraft countermeasures equipment will not only provide additional security but also enable pilots to operate it autonomously.

“Aircrews do not have to divert their attention from their primary mission to counter a man-portable air defence system or other missile threat,” he added.