Eight years ago, the Joint Chiefs of Staff identified an urgent need to equip combat helicopters in the joint force with effective countermeasures against portable surface-to-air missiles. Many light or medium helicopters still lack that protection, although a solution to the threat is readily available. The solution is the Distributed Aperture Infrared Countermeasures System, or DAIRCM. The system is relatively inexpensive and weighs barely a hundred pounds, well within the carrying capacity of even the lightest helicopters. It has been successfully tested against heat-seeking and laser-guided weapons. But the job of fully equipping the force remains to be completed. The need to accomplish this goal was urgent eight years ago. It is time to finally get it done. I have written a commentary for RealClearDefense here.
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