Home Air Rheinmetall secures €50M order from Bundeswehr for infrared decoys

Rheinmetall secures €50M order from Bundeswehr for infrared decoys

Image: Rheinmetall

The Bundeswehr awarded Rheinmetall order for decoy flares, allowing the German military to procure over 470,000 units from Rheinmetall’s Birdie product line for aircraft protection.

Rheinmetall’s Birdie, also known as “Bispectral Infrared Decoy Improved Efficiency,” is a defensive tool crafted to counter infrared-homing guided missiles. By replicating the heat signature of aircraft engine exhaust gases, Birdie aims to divert the attention of these missiles away from the actual aircraft.

The awarded contract, valued at nearly €50 million, is effective from December 2023 to December 2029. Rheinmetall will supply two Birdie products, IR-Birdie 118 BS and IR-Birdie 218 BS, already in use by the Bundeswehr as “Decoy, Aircraft, DM189A1, PT” and “Decoy, Aircraft, DM169A1, PT.”

According to Rheinmetall, in light of the current security situation, there is a heightened emphasis on aircraft self-defense, where decoys, including pyrotechnic flares, play a vital role. These flares are designed to divert infrared search head-equipped surface-to-air missiles (SAM) and air-to-air missiles (AAM).

Rheinmetall asserts that these decoys work in tandem with other defensive measures like chaff, which disrupts enemy radar, and smoke-obscurant munitions, such as Rheinmetall’s ROSY smoke screen.