Any strategy will have to start by restoring SIIRCM funding in next year's POM - the budgeting equivalent of saying "didn't really mean it in '03.
One need only peruse the performance specs required of the SIIRCM to see why.
The SIRFC program as a whole, however, does not appear to be in as perilous a state as the SIIRCM
program, as the SIRFC is slated for fit on the CV-22 Osprey, a high-priority program for SOCOM.
This, of course, will happen after the SIIRCM
program's current technical problems are resolved.
To provide the necessary cueing accuracy to aim the ALQ-212 jamming head, the US Army's SIIRCM uses the Sanders AN/AAR-57(V) Common Missile Warning System (CMWS) (for more on CMWS, see "Despite Pending Budget Cuts, ATIRCM/CMWS Program Rolls On," JED, April 1999, p.
The US Army's SIIRCM program includes an ICMD - Improved Countermeasures Munitions Dispenser - now finishing qualification.
Thus the Aviation RDEC has initiated a science and technology objective (STO) titled Full Spectrum Threat Protection that will combine the situational awareness and countermeasures capabilities of SIRFC and SIIRCM with stealthy airframe and rotor structures, multispectral paints and innovative IR suppressors.
The individual capabilities of SIRFC and SIIRCM have been well covered in the pages of JED (see "An Integrated Response to Future Threats," JED, March 1996, p.
If Marconi had to commit to an IR countermeasures system today, it would almost have to be the Sanders' Advanced Threat IR Countermeasures (ATIRCM) system, which complements the AAR-57 as the active portion of the SIIRCM and is already selected for the US Apache.
The US: Without a doubt, the ALQ-212 SIIRCM and its RF companion, the ALQ-211 Suite of Integrated RF Countermeasures (SIRFC), comprise the most elegant, technically sophisticated helicopter EW concepts on the market (see "Flies Like a Butterfly, Stings Like a Bee.
The SIIRCM uses dynamic RAM and large data packages because of the large amount of processing required by the Common Missile Warning System.
While systems such as the SIRFC and SIIRCM will protect current platforms, planners have already started to consider the information processing requirements of future aircraft.