The ALQ-144 and ALQ-147 were first delivered to the US military in 1981. Currently there are over 3,500 in use with the US military, and a total of 6,000 in use by 19 countries globally. 700 ALQ-157 systems are currently in service.
The ALQ-144 and 147 IRCM produced a pattern of pulses that was approximately synchronized with the rotation rate of these reticles. Before launch this would prevent the missile actually locking onto the target, preventing the operator from firing the missile. After launch this would cause the missile to think that the target was off to one side, and cause the missile to steer away from the aircraft carrying the IRCM.
The introduction of rosette and "staring" scanning techniques in second generation missiles reduced the effectiveness of the ALQ-144 and 147, later upgrades restored the effectiveness of the jammers.
The ALQ-144A was rushed into US service in time for the 1991 Gulf War, as Iraq had stocks of SA-14 and SA-16 missiles, against which the ALQ-144 was only partially effective. By the time the war started two-thirds of the AH-64 Apaches in the Gulf had been upgraded to ALQ-144A standard. The only AH-64 Apache lost to an infra-red guided missile was hit by a SA-14 missile, the helicopter in question was one of the few that hadn't been upgraded.
The ALQ-144's distinctive appearance has earned it the nicknames "disco light" or "disco ball".
|ALQ-144||1980||1.7 kW||12.5 kg|
|ALQ-157||1984||2 kW (later 4 kW)||99 kg|
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