The Advanced Tactical Aircraft Protection Systems Program Office (PMA-272) received the 2020 NAVAIR Commander’s Award for their significant accomplishments in improving, testing and fielding USN, USMC, and USAF small-to-medium aircraft survivability capability against today’s most critical threats.
PMA-272’s AN/AAQ-45 Distributed Aperture Infrared Countermeasure (DAIRCM) team was presented with the Edward H. Heinemann Award for Outstanding Achievement during the annual awards ceremony March 31, commending their accomplishments made throughout the year.
In 2020, the team completed joint urgent operational needs statement (JUONS) testing and improved DAIRCM system performance through multiple hostile fire indication, missile warning, LASER warning and integration events.
AN/AAQ-45 DAIRCM is a protection measure used on small-to-medium aircraft. The JUONS system was fielded first on the HH-60G with roughly 5,000 operational hours on wing on all in-service aircraft at time of receiving the Heinemann Award.
“I could not be more proud of the DAIRCM team and their focus on supporting the Department of the Navy and all of our partner services and agencies that utilize the DAIRCM JUONs system to protect their aircraft at home and in harm’s way,” said Marine Corps Col. Tamara Campbell, PMA-272 program manager. “Their hard work has enabled warfighter success with the ability to operate freely in and control contested battle space.”
Following the test events, AN/AAQ-45 received operational test and evaluation accreditation and two fielding decisions, one by the Chief of Naval Operations N98 for the Navy’s MH-60S helicopter, and the other by the Deputy Commandant of the Marine Corps, Aviation for the Marine Corps’ UH-1Y and AH-1Z helicopters.
Additionally, the team awarded a $120 million engineering and manufacturing development contract to transition the JUONS to a program of record and field this capability on additional Department of Defense aircraft.