Directional Infrared Counter Measures (DIRCM) is a system to protect aircraft from infrared homing (“heat-seeking”) man-portable missiles. It is a lightweight, compact system designed to provide mission-vulnerable aircraft with increased protection from common battlefield threats. It is more advanced than conventional infrared countermeasures.
Russian new Sukhoi Su-57 stealth fighter jet is the only fighter jet equipped with Directional Infrared Counter Measures (DIRCM) system.
‘Technically this feature is seen on other turbine-powered aircraft,’ Connor Dalton, aircraft and incidents researcher, said on Quora. ‘It’s just never appeared on anything outside of heavy-lift transports, and helicopters prior to the Su-57.
‘DIRCM consists of two laser emitting turrets, with one placed behind the cockpit on the dorsal side, and the other beneath the cockpit on the ventral side. The function of the system is relatively straightforward. When an IR missile is spotted, the lasers quickly aim for the missile’s seeker system, blinding it and preventing it from being able to guide to the targeted aircraft.
‘The thing is, the system has never previously been seen outside of transports and helicopters and has only ever been placed on the ventral side in the past, as a defense against MANPADS.’
‘So, the presence of the dorsal mounting, and on a fighter no less means that not only is this the first DIRCM system ever put into a fighter, it’s one of the first DIRCM systems ever made with the goal of combating ait to air missiles.’
The Sukhoi Su-57 is a stealth, single-seat, twin-engine multirole fifth-generation jet fighter. The fighter is designed to have supercruise, supermaneuverability, stealth, and advanced avionics to overcome the prior generation fighter aircraft as well as ground and naval defenses. The Su-57 is intended to succeed the MiG-29 and Su-27 in the Russian Air Force.[