The Common Infrared Countermeasure will be installed aboard US Army helicopters, including the CH-47 Chinook. (US Defense Department)
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WASHINGTON — BAE Systems has completed the preliminary design review (PDR) for its Common Infrared Countermeasure (CIRCM) system for US Army and Navy helicopters, the company announced on Monday.
The PDR, completed in August, contained significantly more information than a PDR normally does, the result of extensive testing and internal investment, according to BAE executives.
“Most programs, you go to PDR with paper,” Bill Staib, director of Threat Management Solutions at BAE Systems, said at the Army Association of the United States conference in Washington, D.C. “We went with over 14,000 hours of tests on production representative hardware.”
The company has spent roughly $80 million over the past five years on internal investment on the technology, including the creation of the $20 million Worrell/Weeks Aircrew Protection Center testing facility in New Hampshire.
The winner of the Army’s CIRCM contract will provide 1,076 systems to the service, and Staib said the Navy’s purchase would likely exceed that. BAE is in competition with Northrop Grumman for the program. Staib expects a downselect for the program before January 2015.
While there are no plans for the system to go onto Air Force platforms, it could theoretically be fitted to any rotorcraft flown by the US military, said Burt Keirstead, BAE’s campaign development director for Survivability and Protection Solutions.