Indra will equip Spanish A400M aircraft with its InShield infrared countermeasure system (DIRCM or Directional InfraRed Counter Measures), to protect said aircraft from surface-to-air missile attacks. The contract awarded by the Ministry of Defense for the characterization and verification of the first unit is worth 4 million euros and will run until 2018.
Deployment of the system will begin in 2017, following exhaustive testing and evaluations conducted on all aspects of the solution. InShield is a latest generation infrared countermeasure system based on research and development run by Indra.
The solution ensures that aircraft are protected against attacks using short-range heat-seeking missiles, which include so-called MANPADS. Such weapons are relatively cheap and easily acquired by terrorist groups on the black market. Attacks with such weapons target aircraft when they are at their most vulnerable, during landing and taking off.
The Indra InShield system is activated once a warning is received from the aircraft's missile detection system (Missile Warning System or MWS). When a missile launch is detected, the DIRCM system confirms the threat and precision targets the head of the missile, where the guiding sensor is located.
The countermeasure is then based on a laser beam that confuses the guidance system and diverts the missile from its trajectory. The entire process is automatic and takes just a few seconds, meaning it does not interfere with handling of the airplane. InShield can detect and divert multiple missiles simultaneously.
The solution developed by Indra differs from other systems on the market thanks to its capacity to cover the full infrared band, meaning the system does not need to identify each missile in order to counteract the same, and it will work with practically all such projectiles.
Indra has adapted the system to protect both transport and passenger plans, as well as helicopters.
Indra has demonstrated its expertise in DIRCM systems in a number of successful tests, including as part of the NATO's so-called EMBOW trials, to evaluate system capabilities for protecting air platforms, and SALT trials to evaluate how systems fare against real missiles. The InShield system also successfully completed its first flight onboard an INTA aircraft, demonstrating its capabilities in a number of maneuvers.
The company also ran a series of tests in 2011, with the support of the French General Directorate for Armament (DGA), which included more than 130 trials and 20 hours of in-flight operations, totaling some 5000 DIRCM exercises for protection against MANPADS (each trial included the simultaneous use of several different kinds of MANPADS). The system was then incorporated and certified for in-flight trials in a C-212 aircraft.
Date: Jun 16, 2016