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Developed by the U.S. Army in 1991, and used by all of U.S. military services as well as a number of foreign countries, the AN/AAR-57(V) Common Missile Warning System is a missile warning receiver that detects the thermal signature of potential surface-to-air and air-to-air missile threats to the aircraft equipped with the AN/AAR-57. It is a form of infrared countermeasures.[1] The name is somewhat confusing, as the actual threat detector is in the ultraviolet, not infrared light spectrum. See infrared countermeasures for some issues and trends.[2] Again, it is the threat detector, not the entire system. According to an early Army evaluation report, the goal was to "... provide passive missile detection, threat declaration, positive warning of a post-launch missile that is homing on the host platform, countermeasures effectiveness assessment, false alarm suppression, and cues to other on-board systems." The first phase of countermeasures triggered by the CMWS are specifically intended to dazzle or damage infrared missile seeker heads, using an arc lamp and laser. Electronic countermeasures are to be added as available.

The initial emphasis was on protecting helicopters against shoulder-fired MANPADS missiles. As of 2005, it was the U.S. tri-service standard and widely used in NATO.[3]

It can be part of the resources managed by an electronics countermeasures suite controller such as the AN/ALQ-213.


  1. Director, Operational Test and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Defense, Suite of Integrated Infrared Countermeasures (SIIRCM)/Common Missile Warning System (CMWS, AN/AAR-57) Includes: Advanced Threat Infrared Countermeasures (ATIRCM, AN/ALQ-212), Annual Report FY 2003, pp. 103-105
  2. Richard J. Nelson, Integrated Hostile Fire Indication Sensor, Solid State Scientific Corporation
  3. BaE Systems North America, AN/AAR-57(V) Common Missile Warning System