New laser countermeasures system on Night Stalker Chinook Special Operations helicopters

A recent picture released by the US Army shows New laser countermeasures system on Night Stalker Chinook Special Operations helicopters.

New laser countermeasures system on Night Stalker Chinook Special Operations helicopters Night Stalker Chinook Special Operations helicopter equipped with Northrop Grumman's AN/AAQ-24 Directional infrared countermeasure (DIRCM) system  (Picture source: US Army)

The MH-47G Chinook is an advanced heavy-lift helicopter that is manufactured by Boeing and operated by the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), or 'Night Stalkers'. 160th SOAR Chinooks are flown in the heavy assault role. This includes the insertion, extraction of Special Operations Forces. The aircraft can also be used in the resupply role. MH-47s may also be employed in so-called 'fat cow' operations in which they are fitted with additional internal fuel bladders and deployed as a static, on the ground, refueling point for other air assets. Another role for the MH-47 is to act as an airborne C2 (command and control) platform.

MH-47 was the only US Army helicopter capable of supporting Special Operations in the higher mountainous regions of Afghanistan and as such played a major role in that theater.

The 'Golf' variant is the most current and sophisticated MH-47 in service. The MH-47Gs in the Night Stalker's inventory are either new build airframes or MH-47E airframes that have been remanufactured to Golf standards. The rebuilt airframes include new electrical and hydraulic lines.

The AN/AAQ-24(V) Directional Infrared Countermeasure (DIRCM) system is is described by Northrop Grumman as the the only DIRCM system in production today that will protect aircraft from today's infrared guided missiles.

Traditional IR countermeasures are not effective against the modern IR missiles that are growing in popularity among terrorist groups and in thirdworld countries. A Directional Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) system is required to defeat the latest and future advanced IR threats, and has a lower life cycle cost compared to other IR countermeasure approaches.

- Simultaneously tracks and defeats threats in clutter environments
- Fast, accurate threat detection and simultaneous jamming in all current IR threat Bands (I, II and IV)
- Counters all fielded IR missile threats using a single generic jam waveform
- Complete end-to-end self-testing features reduce life-cycle maintenance
- Compatible with existing support facilities

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