In the whole scope of developing a countermeasure system against infrared guided missiles, the development of adequate laser sources is one of many aspects, however certainly the most demanding.
The article describes from a directed infrared countermeasure (DIRCM) system aspect the functional and operational basics relevant for countering strategies. DIRCM techniques can be categorized into jamming and damaging countermeasure techniques. The resulting requirements for the countermeasure laser sources are briefly explained. Jam laser source types with advantages and drawbacks as well as possible damage laser sources, including the estimation of maturity and their specific features, are described.
The FLASH countermeasure demonstrator was developed to validate the concept of having a closed loop jamming and damaging system. The laser setup for the DIRCM demonstrator FLASH is briefly described and the conducted tests including laser performance are explained.