ANKARA, Turkey —Turkish Aerospace Industries has built and integrated a directional infrared countermeasure system for the A400M multinational heavy transport aircraft, the company announced.
Claiming that the “A400M is safer now,” TAI said in a Nov. 11 statement that the DIRCM was integrated to the A400M with the tail number MSN 105 — a first for the aircraft.
“The new system will detect and destroy incoming missiles via a missile warning unit, and a hand-held air defense systems directed to the A400M aircraft,” TAI said. “With the integration of DIRCM system, the aircraft gained a capability that will enable 360-degree detection of multiple missiles with its multi-target capability.”
TAI holds a 7% share in the A400M consortium, which is made up of member countries Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Turkey, Britain and Malaysia. Other companies with shares in the aircraft effort at Britain’s BAE Systems, Germany’s EADS and Belgium’s Flabel. The DIRCM effort is TAI’s first design-to-build contribution to the program.
TAI is currently producing 405 detail and subassembly parts for the DIRCM program, in addition to the forward-center fuselage, the tail cone and rear fuselage top panel, flaps/speed brakes, paratrooper and emergency exit doors, lighting systems, the primary design and supply of waste/clean water systems, final assembly line management/support, as well as the design and manufacture of fuselage wiring, excluding the cockpit interior and exterior lighting systems.
TAI made and delivered parts for 135 aircraft to Airbus Defence and Space. The total program includes 176 A400M aircraft.
Burak Ege Bekdil is a Turkey correspondent for Defense News. He has written for Hurriyet Daily News, and worked as Ankara bureau chief for Dow Jones Newswires and CNBC-e television. He is also a fellow at the Middle East Forum and regularly writes for the Middle East Quarterly and Gatestone Institute.