German Airbus A400M Atlas being equipped with Diehl – Elbit Directed Infrared protection against MANPADs

The MUSIC multispectral infrared anti-missile system uses fiber laser technology, IR directional countermeasures, and a rotary turret.

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Vaibhav Agrawal
Vaibhav Agrawal
Vaibhav Agrawal is the founder editor of Bhraman (a Digital Travelogue). As an independent journalist, he is passionate for investigating and reporting on complex subjects. He has an extensive background in both print and digital media, with a focus on Travel and Defence reporting. *Views are personal

Diehl Defence and Elbit Systems inked an agreement during the ILA Berlin International Air Show to continue their successful collaboration on the Directed Infrared Counter Measure System (DIRCM), which has been in place since 2014.

Diehl Defence integrates three SJ-MUSIC (Multi-Spectral Infrared Countermeasure) devices from the Israeli firm to form one DIRCM system that protects the aircraft from all sides. DIRCM is now being installed and certified in the A400M.  

By 2023, 24 Bundeswehr A400M transport aircraft (tactical version) are to be equipped with this automatic protection system against interference-resistant missiles.

Airbus Defense and Space was commissioned in 2019 by the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) to integrate and certify the DIRCM (Directed Infrared Counter Measure) system into the Defence Aids Sub-Systems (DASS) of the transport aircraft. The contract is worth 270 million euros.  

The J-MUSIC was selected for DIRCM. In 2019, it was reported that Diehl Defense takes care of the configuration of the four devices per aircraft, which cover the entire space under the aircraft. As mentioned above, the latest release states that three SJ-MUSIC systems are installed.

J-MUSIC is a distributed system for military transport aircraft, tanker aircraft, administrative aircraft, etc.

The MUSIC multispectral infrared anti-missile system uses fibre laser technology, IR directional countermeasures, and a rotary turret.

A missile attack warning system provides the detection of an approaching missile. After detection, a command is issued to the DIRCM system, which sends a thermal tracking device to the target to capture and track the missile. Then a powerful onboard laser is turned on, blinding the missile seeker and putting it out of action.

The DIRCM system defends big military and commercial aircraft against infrared-guided missile threats. The protective system is equipped with interfaces that connect it to the guided missile warning system and the Defensive Aid System. It can fly in all phases of flight without damaging urban or wooded areas. Diehl Defence also offers Integrated Logistic Support (ILS) for the DIRCM system, as well as repair, service, and maintenance.

The Airbus A400M strategic transport aircraft is currently equipped with a basic protection kit, including the Indra ALR400M RWR/ESM radar warning receiver, Thales and Cassidian’s Miras IR missile attack warning systems, and MBDA’s Saphir 400 chaff and IR trap dropper.

Aside from that, both firms want to collaborate on the MDS, a smaller version of DIRCM (mini DIRCM system). The MDS is ideal for helicopters but also suited for smaller aircraft. Elbit has already developed a mini-MUSIC system to protect small and medium-sized aircraft.

The DIRCM system adds to Diehl Defence’s protection system product line, which includes the segments aeroplane protection, vehicle protection, and HPEM effector systems.


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