Saturday, June 6, 2020

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U.S. government approves sale of aircraft defense system for India’s VIP jets

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U.S. government has approved a possible $190 million Foreign Military Sale to India of two Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures Self-Protection Suites (SPS).

According to a U.S. State Department statement, the systems will be used for “head of state” Boeing 777-300ER jets.

“The Government of India has requested to buy two Self-Protection Suites (SPS) consisting of AN/AAQ 24(V)N Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM), ALQ-211(V)8 Advanced Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare Suite (AIDEWS), and AN/ALE-47 Counter-Measures Dispensing System (CMDS) to protect two Boeing-777 Head-of-State aircraft,” said in statement.

The LAIRCM is a directional, active IR jammer that is designed to defeat a wide range of ground-fired IR (heat-seeking) missiles. The system jams the infrared missile seekers through the sensor aperture, causing the missile to miss the intended target. LAIRCM automatically detects a missile launch, determines if it is a threat, and activates a high-intensity, laser-based countermeasure system to track and defeat the missile. 

The LAIRCM system consists of sensors, electronic warfare equipment and high-energy lasers, which work in an integrated manner to protect the host aircraft from ‘heat-seeking’ missiles that home in on a target’s infra-red signature.

Earlier LAIRCM versions are currently employed on other aircraft, such as the C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemaster III.

Similar equipment is used on the two Boeing 747 aircraft that carry the U.S. president and are referred to by their call sign ‘Air Force One’.

In March 2018, the Narendra Modi government had announced that two Boeing 777 aircraft, originally bought for Air India, were being purchased from the national carrier and modified at a cost of approximately Rs 4,500 crore for VIP transport purposes.

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Executive Editor

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