Leonardo and Northrop Grumman sign CIRCM deal

Leonardo and Northrop Grumman will collaborate on countermeasures technology.

Leonardo announced a “long-term pricing agreement” with Northrop Grumman Corporation for the supply of pointers / trackers for the US Army’s general infrared measures (CIRCLE) program.

The agreement means that eventually Leonardo can provide the service with more than 1,200 tracking cursors, in addition to 500 already delivered, the manufacturer said in a statement from the company on August 23.

The directories must be supplied by Edinburgh, Leonardo’s UK, which produces a wide range of countermeasures and EW technology.

“The CIRCM system is a countermeasure that will protect U.S. military crews and their aircraft from incoming missiles,” Leonardo said.

It works by directing and “blinding” the infrared (IR) system to target the threat with a powerful laser. Leonardo’s pointer / tracker is at the heart of the system and points the laser precisely at the rocket seeker, a powerful engineering feat, given that the plane and the rocket are at some distance from each other and move rapidly in different directions.

Leonardo and Northrop Grumman have previously worked together to develop AN / AAQ-24 (V) Nemesis DIRCM for the US Department of Defense and the UK Department of Defense.

The CIRCM system will be equipped with US Army helicopters, including the CH-47 Chinook, UH-60 Black Hawk and AH-64 Apache.