Indra to protect Spanish A400Ms with InShield DIRCM System

Indra InShield DIRCM System (Direct Infra-Red Counter-Measure System) has been selected to equip up to nine A400M military transport aircrafts of the Spanish Air Force, the Spanish defense company said on February 23, 2018.

Indra to protect Spanish A400Ms with InShield DIRCM System001 The first Spanish Air Force A400M airlifter
(Credit: Airbus DS)

The contract has been awarded to Indra by the international organisation OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d'Armement / Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation), as manager of the international A400M programme on behalf of the Spanish Ministry of Defence.

This procurement contract takes place once the company has previously supplied a first DIRCM InShield demonstrator, as part of the national programme SYP 21501, for flight evaluation purposes which had been partly funded by the Directorate-General of Arms and Materiel (DGAM). The successful results obtained during the system validation have led now to the contract of the solution for equipping the Spanish Air Force A400M fleet.

In parallel, InShield has also been tested with excellent results as part of the NATO Trial EMBOW, the most well-known exercise to evaluate operational airborne self-protection technologies. For this exercise, Indra system was integrated in a Chinook helicopter from Spanish Army Airmobile Forces (FAMET) and was tested in the most demanding scenarios. These tests complement other previous evaluation exercises successfully completed by the system, including a campaign with missile live fire.

Last year, Airbus Military (AMSL), the company leading the A400M programme for the OCCAR, successfully completed the Critical Design Review (CDR) of the InShield DIRCM system installation for the A400M aircraft.

As part of the programme starting now for the equipment of the Spanish A400M fleet with its solution, Indra will also be responsible to provide the associated ILS Products and Services to integrate InShield DIRCM in the logistic support chain of the Air Force. This way, it will maximize the system availability and reliability during all its operational life, while optimizing and rationalizing the maintenance costs.

These products and services include tools to programme the system libraries, including jamming sequences programming, so the system can operate against all kind of threats, including new missiles that may be developed in the future. The Spanish Air Force will have the capability to complete and manage these libraries without any external dependencies and based on its own intelligence.

Indra’s InShield DIRCM system was supported as part of RTD programme funded by Directorate-General of Arms and Materiel (DGAM) that carried out a first feasibility study and successful technology qualification of a prototype. Indra evolved the system incorporating solid state laser technology and participated a new RTD project to address system characterization and validation. This development process has led to the successfully tested InShield DIRCM that will be installed in the A400M.

InShield DIRCM system stands out for incorporating cutting-edge electro-optical technology and state-of-the-art solid-state laser technologies. System can detect and manage multiple simultaneous threats and neutralize missiles instantly without need of manual operation.

The solution is especially efficient to protect the aircrafts during the take-off and landing maneuvers, exposed situations typically used for attacks. The same thing goes for the helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft operating in low-level flight missions or in conflict scenarios, where they can be catch out by these missile attacks, which require little preparation and can be performed by a single individual.

In the specific case of the A400M, these transport aircrafts can be used for international operations and deployment in areas threaten by terrorist or non-governmental groups. Having this kind of self-protection systems is essential to ensure the survivability of the platform, the personnel and the cargo. MANPADS missiles are weapons easy to operate and that can be accessed in the black market for a low price.

Beyond its usage by the military forces, the system is also especially required to protect aircrafts that can become a target due to its VIP transport function and/or its operation in airports located in countries under the terrorist threat.

Indra solution can be integrated in all kind of aircrafts, from small business jets and helicopters to the biggest platforms, such as the A400M. System can be installed as stand-alone solution in those aircrafts without previous self-protection equipment or can be integrated as an add-on for those platforms already equipping defensive aids such as radar warner or flare dispenser. It must be highlighted the system capability to be easily integrated as an upgrade of the self-protection-suites controlled by the ALR-400 Indra system, currently operated in different aircrafts all over the globe.

Indra is a leading defence and security company that develops electronic defence systems equipped by Military Forces worldwide. More than 400 aircrafts operating in international scenarios are protected with these systems. Platforms fitted with Indra auto protection technology include inter alia fixed-wing aircrafts such as F18, CN235, C295, Gulfstream and A400M and rotary-wing aircrafts such as Super Puma, Cougar, CH47 Chinook, Tiger, NH90 and CH53.