Elettronica Group and its EuroDIRQM

Elettronica Group and Indra have teamed up for the development of a next generation Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL) based Direct Infrared Countermeasure (DIRCM) system suitable to protect rotary and fixed wing aircraft. Elettronica and Indra’s decision is based on the high level of the respective know-how technological capabilities synergy with the goal to build up an innovative DIRCM system, with proprietary technologies from several EU countries, to deliver a ‘truly European self-protection solution fully ITAR-free to facilitate international commercialisation’. The system, the first to be fully developed in Europe and one of the most advanced in the market, has been dubbed EuroDIRQM, to reflect its European roots and its application of QCL technology for DIRCM purposes. 

The two companies have already completed the development of a first EuroDIRQM prototype system, with QCL operational ground tests successfully performed last year, with the cooperation of the Italian Air Force. The EuroDIRQM is conceived as "all-in-one" equipment usable for multi-platform and multi-mission that will provide self-protection capabilities to all kind of aircraft, from helicopters to transport/tanker to jet aircraft. 

The EuroDIRQM solution will bring together about 30 years of combined experience in the DIRCM field by the two companies and the collaboration will benefit from their long term cooperation in other international successful programmes. Indra and Elettronica have successfully applied their DIRCM capabilities to different platforms and scenarios. The new QCL technology will expand Indra DIRCM capabilities, already consolidated with the InShield DIRCM system, contracted by OCCAR for the A400M ES fleet and operationally demonstrated in a CH47 Chinook in 2017. In the same way, Elettronica DIRCM portfolio, with the ELT/572 DIRCM, contracted by Italian Air Force and operative on-board of its C-130J aircraft, AW101 helicopters in Combat Search And Rescue configuration as well as operationally demonstrated in a C27J in 2016, will also be enlarged with this QCL based solution.

DIRCM systems are self-protection airborne solutions to protect aircraft from the impact of heat-seeking missiles and are specially required for protection against MANPADS missile attacks. The operative concept is based on the detection of the incoming threat during the missile launch and the countermeasure of the missile guidance using a directed laser beam that deviates the trajectory of the missile. All the process is quick and automatic, and the system can react against attacks of any IR seeker with a jamming sequence that ensures successful countermeasure.

MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defence Systems) are surface to air missiles, guided towards the heat generated by the aircraft, and can be easily managed by one single operator. These devices are the main cause for military aircraft losses in conflict scenarios. MANPADS pose an international threat and a global concern due to their proliferation and their use by terrorist and uncontrolled groups.


Elettronica Group has been on the cutting edge of electronic warfare for more than 60 years, supplying armed forces and governments of 30 countries with more than 3000 high technology systems. Privately controlled by Benigni’s family, with Leonardo and Thales in the shareholders structure, the Group is composed of three industrial assets, Elettronica S.p.A, the headquarters, based in Rome, leader in EW capabilities, CY4GATE, a joint venture with Expert System, specialising  in Cyber EW, Cyber Security and Intelligence, and Elettronica Gmbh, the German subsidiary specialising in EW signal processing design and production and Homeland Security solutions. Elettronica’s systems are deployed for a variety of key operational missions, from strategic surveillance, to self protection, Sigint, electronic attack and operational support for airborne, naval and ground applications. Elettronica Group boasts a strong record of successful domestic and international collaborations on all the key modern military platforms such as the Italian PPA, the fighter Eurofighter Typhoon, the NFH-90 helicopter, the Italian and French warships Horizon and FREMM, and a wide range of projects in the Gulf, Middle East and Asia.