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The Common Missile Warning System (CMWS) and Advanced Threat Infrared Countermeasures (ATIRCM) system integrates defensive infrared (IR) countermeasures capabilities into existing, current-generation aircraft to engage and defeat IR-guided missile threats.

The Army operational requirements concept for IR countermeasures systems is the Suite of Integrated Infrared Countermeasures (SIIRCM). The CMWS and ATIRCM programs form the core element of SIIRCM. CMWS can function as a stand-alone system with the capability to detect missiles and provide audible and visual warnings to pilots. When installed with the Advanced IRCM Munitions and improved countermeasure dispensers, it activates expendables to decoy and defeat IR-guided missiles.

ATIRCM protects crews and aircraft from advanced threat Man Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS) until Common Infrared Countermeasure (CIRCM) is fielded.

The CIRCM program of record is completing the Engineering and Manufacturing Development Phase and is being developed to replace ATIRCM. CIRCM will be lighter weight, more reliable and have more affordable life cycle costs. It is also designed to operate with CMWS and future missile warning systems to provide protection for rotary-wing, tiltrotor and small fixed-wing aircraft across the Department of Defense (DOD).


MANPADS are proliferated worldwide and pose a strategic threat to all DOD rotary-wing and fixed-wing aircraft. Threat detection sensors are the first step in the detection-and-defeat engagement sequence. Improving sensor capability and exploiting new sensor technology translates into seeing the threat sooner and at greater distances, buying more time for the warfighter to successfully engage with an effective countermeasure solution. The combination of CIRCM and flares helps provide a tiered defense for DOD aircraft.


Threat detection systems:

  • CMWS (ACAT I) detects threats in the ultraviolet spectrum, warns pilots and deploys flares to counter threat
  • Laser Detection System (ACAT IV) detects laser-guided threats and warns pilots
  • Radar Warning Receiver (ACAT III) detects Radio Frequency (RF) – emitting and RF-guided threats, and warns pilots

Threat defeat systems:

  • CIRCM (ACAT I) system, the next generation lightweight laser-based system, defeats IR-guided MANPAD threats
  • ATIRCM (ACAT I), the legacy laser-based IR countermeasure system, is fielded only to the CH-47F fleet due to its size, weight and power requirements



  • CIRCM delegated ACAT I
  • Modernized Radar Warning Receiver Capability Production Document approved

3QFY18: CIRCM Capability Production Document – Army Requirement Oversight Council approved
4QFY18: CIRCM Milestone C and Low Rate Initial Production 1 Decision


1QFY19: Advanced Threat Detection System Materiel Development Decision
4QFY20: CIRCM Full Rate Production Decision

Foreign Military Sales

  • CMWS: Egypt, Jordan, Korea, Netherlands, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey and United Kingdom
  • LDS: Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Korea, Netherlands, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Taiwan, Tunisia and United Arab Emirates


  • ATIRCM and CMWS: BAE Systems (Nashua, NH)
  • CIRCM and MRWR: Northrop Grumman (Rolling Meadows, IL)
  • LDS: United Technologies Aerospace Systems (Danbury, CT)
  • Logistics Support: LogiCore (Huntsville, AL)
  • Programmatic Support: Quantitech, Inc. (Huntsville, AL)
  • System Engineering Support: SAIC (Huntsville, AL)
  • Software Configuration Management Support: SAIC (Huntsville, AL)
  • Test Support Data Analysis: SAIC (Huntsville, AL)
  • Engineering/Tech Production Support: SAIC (Huntsville, AL)
  • Data Analysis and System Integration Laboratory Development: Georgia Tech Applied Research Corporation (Atlanta, GA)