Andrew Doyle/LONDON

BRITISH AEROSPACE (Systems and Equipment) (BASE) has been awarded a contract worth an estimated £10 million to supply a range of components for the Nemesis Directed Infra-Red Countermeasures (DIRCM) system, being developed by a Northrop Grumman-led team.

The Nemesis is designed to protect aircraft from heat-seeking missiles, by using threat-modeling and evaluation techniques. The system will be used to detect possible missile launches, determine whether or not a missile is a "real" threat, warn aircrews of incoming missiles, and activate high-power countermeasures. When a missile is detected, it will be engaged by a lamp which "blinds" or damages its infra red seeker.

BASE says that it will work on the "development and assessment of system operating parameters for specific threats, the development, manufacture and qualification of the prime system AC power source and the design and manufacture of operator/system interface control panels".

The company will also manufacture circuit-card assemblies, provide operational system support, and participate in the design, verification and testing of the Nemesis.

Earlier this year, the UK Ministry of Defence placed a $275 million contract with the Northrop Grumman team to develop and supply the Nemesis system for several aircraft types, including Royal Air Force EH Industries EH101 helicopters.

Other potential applications are thought to be the Boeing CH-47 Chinook, Lockheed C-130J Hercules and Westland/McDonnell Douglas WAH-64D Longbow Apache.

The US Air Force, meanwhile, has ordered around 60 kits.

Source: Flight International