The MH-47G Chinook helicopter fleet, one of the most important aviation assets of the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), is getting a new countermeasure system aimed at improving its survivability on the battlefield.

More specifically, the MH-47Gs are being outfitted with the AN/AAQ-24 LAIRCM. This enhancement is a Directional Infrared Counter Measures (DIRCM) system that tracks and directs energy from incoming heat-seeking missiles. According to Northrop Grumman, the manufacturer of the LAIRCM, the device can track and defeat simultaneous threats by jamming their IR sensors, among other things.

The LAIRCM system is mounted on the rear of the fuselage.

The new system (Image courtesy of Bill Shemley.)

The MH-47G is the heavy workhorse of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne). It is predominately used for heavy-lift missions. The unit also flies the MH-60 Blackhawk (numerous versions) and the MH-6/AH-6 Little Bird.