Leonardo, Northrop Grumman to deliver CIRCM pointer/trackers to US Army

Leonardo and Northrop Grumman have signed a five-year agreement for Leonardo to provide pointer/trackers for the US Army’s Common Infrared (IF) Countermeasures (CIRCM) programme as it enters full-rate production.

The agreement could see Leonardo provide more than 1,200 pointer trackers. This amount will add to the 500 that the company has already delivered to the Northrop Grumman CIRCM programme, which saw first deliveries back in 2016 to the US Army.

Leonardo will design, produce, and deliver the pointer/trackers from its site in Edinburgh, UK, where the companies Directed Infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) technology is produced for the UK and its allies.

CIRCM tracker/Pointer
CIRCM incorporates a Leonardo pointer/tracker. Northrop Grumman

The CIRCM system is a countermeasure that will protect US Army aircrews and their aircraft from inbound missiles. The CICRM works by targeting the inbound missile and ‘dazzling’ the threats IF guidance system with a powerful laser. At the heart of the system is Leonardo’s pointer/tracker which directs the laser accurately on to the missiles seeker from a far distance whilst the missile and aircraft are moving quickly in multiple directions.

Drawing on a strong sense of commitment, Leonardo continued the delivery of units throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Following a successful six-month initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) activity with the US Army, the CIRCM system will equip US Army aircraft such as, the Boeing CH-47 Chinook, Lockheed Martin UH-60 Black Hawk and the Boeing AH-64 Apache.