Elettronica Group at the Euronaval 2018 future naval technologies exhibition, has launched a new capability: the next-generation fully European self-protection Infra-Red solution DIRCM (Direct Infra-Red Countermeasures) for naval applications, which will be the first on the world market.
This solution has been successfully tested in many scenarios and makes full use of Elettronica’s experience matured over many NATO international contexts. Some years ago Elettronica decided to start an experimentation on a Naval environment of its DIRCM, up to that moment developed for airborne applications, aimed at testing its behavior in a different domain and the feasibility of its potential naval use.
The highly vibrant results achieved in the first trial worldwide on this issue, have led the Company to further invest in developing a naval DIRCM solution.
The investment was aimed at acquiring high competence in managing the latest laser technology based on Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL) as a base for its development of the most innovative solution for countering I/R threats. DIRCM laser propagation can be obtained using the ELT-designed, multiple band, laser system. ELT laser, based on European Quantum Cascade Technology, is able to generate beams from the typical I/R countermeasure, mid-wave, infrared bands up to the innovative set of cold bands, designed to overcome specific maritime weather conditions. Quantum cascade is the latest development in laser technology and represents a step forward from conventional semiconductor lasers. QCL energy is generated directly in the band of interest, optimizing power consumption at the same time as output beam. This is a cutting-edge technology that is currently being introduced for next-generation systems in all fields.
The immediate benefit derives from the exploitation of the aforementioned capability to address MANPADS threats, including third generation threats, also used for piracy against surface vessels in an unconventional manner.
Nowadays intrinsically asymmetric conditions of operations are now making protection against EO/IR guided threats an increasingly important requirement for active countermeasures also in maritime scenario.
The naval DIRCM is expected also to represent the future complement of recently developed Elettronica EW Suite for the Italian Naval Program to detect and counter threats overall the electromagnetic spectrum.
Elettronica is also considering extending the capability of the Naval DIRCM by countering imaging guided missiles with the combined use of DIRCM and flares, taking benefit from what has already successfully been tested in an airborne scenario.
More tests are going to be conducted in order to further validate the Naval DIRCM solution, which is expected to be the merging of excellence and innovation, two pillars of our mission