Italy's Elettronica Group and Indra of Spain aim to develop the first European Quantum Cascade Laser-based infrared countermeasure system, dubbed EuroDIRQM.
Indra (Spain) and Elettronica Group (Italy) are collaborating on the development of a next-generation Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL)-based Direct Infrared Countermeasure (DIRCM) system for protection of rotary and fixed wing aircraft.
The two companies say the system will incorporate proprietary technologies from several EU countries, in order to deliver a truly European, fully ITAR-free self-protection solution to facilitate international marketing campaigns.
The system, the first to be fully developed in Europe and claimed to be one of the most advanced in the market, has been dubbed EuroDIRQM, to reflect its European roots and its application of QCL technology for DIRCM purposes.
The two companies have already completed development of a first EuroDIRQM prototype system, with QCL operational ground tests successfully performed in March, in cooperation with the Italian Air Force.
The EuroDIRQM is conceived as an “all-in-one” multi-platform, multi-mission system providing self-protection capabilities against heat-seeking missiles for all types of aircraft, from helicopters to transport/tankers to fast jets.
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 the output beam.