$49M to ATK for Heat-Seeking Missile Countermeasure Flares
ATK Launch Systems in Corinne, Utah received a $49 million modified contract for the purchase of MJU-62/B flares that provide an infrared countermeasure to protect aircraft from heat-seeking missiles. 784 CBSG/PK at Hill Air Force Base in Utah manages the contract (FA8213-09-D-0002).
The MJU-62/B flare is a boron-based infrared countermeasure used on USAF cargo aircraft. It consists of a 1x2x8 inch aluminum case, plastic end cap, felt spacer, safe and initiation device, plastic piston, and flare pellet. It is dispensed and ignited in flight by a BBU-36/B impulse cartridge.
The MJU-62/B flare is used on the AN/ALE-40 countermeasure dispenser system…
The AN/ALE-40 dispenser system provides expendable countermeasure storing and dispensing for multiple aircraft platforms, notes the Federation of American Scientists. The AN/ALE-40 system is a means by which the pilot can release chaff or flare, depending on the threat type, to counter homing of a missile to an aircraft.
Chaff looks like millions of tiny strands of aluminum foil and each strip is cut to length to match the various wavelengths of the radar. Using chaff to combat radar was used as early as WWII and still proves very effective against nearly all radar threats. Flares are designed to defeat a missile’s infrared tracking mechanisms.