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Can the Apache, regardless if it's the AH-64E/D (US) or AH1 Longbow (UK), detect IR lock?

I am aware that the Wildcat AH1, Merlin HC3/4 and AH1 Longbow share the same defensive systems that can detect IR missile launch. However, I have yet to find any information suggesting any of these aircraft can detect an IR lock from a fire control system of another aircraft.

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    $\begingroup$ It's quite likely that this is simply a secret and that's why you can't find a definitive answer... Sometimes the best thing to do with a game is to just "fudge it". If you think having that capability would make the game more interesting, go ahead and put it in there. Heaven knows, you wouldn't be the first person to fudge a bit in a military simulator :) $\endgroup$ – Jay Carr Sep 19 '17 at 17:21
  • $\begingroup$ Quite possibly. Anyway, I think I answered my own question :) $\endgroup$ – Shaun Cockram Sep 19 '17 at 17:35
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I think I have answered my own question from a little bit of research.

Warfare systems such as Laser and Radar are detectable because they are active emissions (i.e. They have to make their own emission, wait for it to reflect back, then lock onto it).

Visual and Infrared are not easily detectable because they are passive. The IR Launcher or TV-Guided missile only requires the targets emission to lock onto, not its own in the example above, so there is no way you can detect being locked onto.

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    $\begingroup$ I don't have enough info for a full answer, but Peter Kampf has previously contradicted your "no way you can detect being locked onto statement." aviation.stackexchange.com/a/22081/3146 I was surprised enough to put the following into my notes: "Oh my god--IR missiles have cooled seekers and this is visible to an IR camera." Not sure if that holds for all generations of IR missiles, but was definitely true of missiles like Stinger and the early Sidewinders. $\endgroup$ – Erin Anne Sep 19 '17 at 21:46
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    $\begingroup$ Back-of-the-envelope calculations make me think that, while possible, detecting a cooled seeker is quite impractical IRL. The required resolution, FOV and processing needs of the system would make it quite an investment. I have been unable to find any literature supporting the development of such an "IR lock detector", as opposed to more general misile approach detectors. $\endgroup$ – AEhere supports Monica Sep 20 '17 at 8:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Peter's answer to the other question is actually not a contradiction. He's talking about devices that detect the presence of a missile, not determining if it's locked on or not. Countermeasures assume it's locked on, and deploy anyway. Better safe than sorry. $\endgroup$ – Penguin Sep 21 '17 at 7:56
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    $\begingroup$ This answer is correct. There is no way to detect an IR lock, its not just hard, its impossible, as there is nothing to detect. $\endgroup$ – Invariant Sep 24 '17 at 1:26
  • $\begingroup$ @ErinAnne Peter Kämpf's answer seems to be incorrect in this case. Usually one detects heat sources and not the absence of heat, as was suggested ("detect a cooled IR seeker"). But since you cannot detect passive IR-seeker lock, one can go for the missile that carries the IR seeker instead. This can be detected by either active radar or passive IR - because of it's hot rocket exhaust gases. $\endgroup$ – user7241 Dec 9 '17 at 5:37
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No. IR threat warning systems detect the energy from the missile.

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It took me a little Googling, but I found one: the Netherlands intends to equip their AH-64Ds with the AN/AAR-57A(V)7 Common Missile Warning System, a system that's capable of detecting infrared missile launches. The CMWS can be used in concert with systems like the AN/ALQ-212 to actively jam incoming infrared missiles.

Googling for "Apache missile warning" seems to indicate those units are in widespread consideration or use.

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    $\begingroup$ Missile launch happens after the seeker has locked on. The question is about the latter, not the former. $\endgroup$ – Ralph J Sep 20 '17 at 5:12
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    $\begingroup$ Ah, fair enough. Maybe other people will make the same mistake and so the answer might still be useful to someone, but I accept the downvotes. $\endgroup$ – Erin Anne Sep 20 '17 at 18:33

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