Ukraine War Prompts US Army to Equip Apaches With Laser Protection System
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By José Carlos Palma* 

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has prompted the United States Army to take additional measures to enhance the capabilities and protection of its Apache helicopters. One such measure is the deployment of a laser protection system designed to defend against hostile threats.

Called the Common Infrared Countermeasures (CIRCM), the new system defends against surface-to-air missiles and those from man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS).

The decision to equip Apaches with a laser protection system is a response to the evolving nature of modern warfare and the increased threat of advanced anti-aircraft systems in conflict zones. The system aims to improve the survivability of the helicopters and ensure the safety of the crew members.

The laser protection system utilizes advanced technology to detect, track, and defeat incoming threats, such as laser-guided anti-aircraft missiles. It employs a combination of sensors, countermeasures, and defensive measures to detect and neutralize threats before they can cause harm to the aircraft.

By integrating this system into Apache helicopters, the US Army aims to provide a greater level of protection and increase the operational effectiveness of these aircraft in challenging environments. The system’s deployment underscores the commitment of the United States to support its allies and partners in times of conflict and to ensure their defense capabilities are enhanced.

It is important to note that the decision to equip Apache helicopters with a laser protection system is part of a broader strategy to address the evolving threat landscape and enhance the capabilities of the US Army. The specific details of the deployment, including the timeline and operational considerations, are determined by military authorities based on strategic assessments and operational requirements.

As the situation in Ukraine continues to evolve, the provision of military support, including equipment and training, is a dynamic process influenced by diplomatic, political, and strategic factors.

According to several reports, the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine prompted the US to integrate the defense system into the Boeing-made aircraft.

Washington has reportedly seen MANPADS from Kyiv successfully neutralizing low-flying Russian drones and helicopters, including its Ka-52 Alligators.

* Expert in international relations, such as foreign policy, international trade, domestic security, international security, developing nations, domestic security, intelligence,  political consultant, and military analysis.

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