Infrared Signatures in The Modern Warship

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J M Pernas Urrutia
R Villa Caro
R José de Espona
C Heritier
R Perez-Fernandez


A key aspect in design of the modern warship from the point of view of energy efficiency is undoubtedly the selection of its propulsion system. A large part of the total Infrared (IR) radiation emitted by the ship will be originated from propulsion, because not all the energy generated will be transformed into effective work. The remaining energy will contribute directly to the IR signature of the warship as a whole, thus increasing its susceptibility and, therefore, its casualty. The aim of this article is to describe the main sources of IR signature on frigates and destroyers, current and future IR signature reduction countermeasures, and present the results of an Infrared Control Measures (IRCM) study in which the vessel's ability to dissuade aerial threats through the use of deception techniques, within a stated energy efficiency scenario, is analysed. In conclusion, electrical variants to warship propulsion systems are more efficient under the same operating conditions, and their associated reduction of waste energy contribute favourably to IR signature control. The activation of IRCM will further reduce the IR susceptibility of a warship.

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