In this video at 7:04 we see the following view of a VC-25 (an aircraft frequently known as "Air Force One"):

Two VC-25 engines seen from the rear

What are the two shiny, gold-coloured structures above and to the rear of the engine exhaust?


2 Answers 2


According to a comment on the video from Jamie Lancaster:

Behind the engines under the wing are the 2 IRCM (Infrared Counter Measure) Jammers - for Air to Air or Ground to Air Missile Defense.

In the comments below, GremlinWranger suggests that it's likely a descendant of the Common Infrared Countermeasures Program based on the appearance of the ALQ-144, which does indeed have similar mirrored panels.

A bit of further searching turns up this blog entry which claims to show pictures of the AN/ALQ-157 which is even more similar looking, particularly in its four-facet design with hemispherical coverage. (That page also has a reduced-size German poster explaining "Air Force One," by which they mean the V-25, but the relationship of that to anything else in the article is never explained.)



enter image description hereAN/ALQ-204 Matador


It is a decendant of AN/ALQ-144 and similarly is designed to defeat first gen MANPADS

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ There's quite a bit of information in the (excellent) link you gave that would be worth putting in this answer. And this answer isn't really stand-alone yet; it doesn't even mention that this is a missile defense system (it expects readers to know what a MANPAD is to figure that out). If you're willing to expand this to be a stand-alone answer that will briefly explain to people without military knowledge what this is, I'd happily make it my accepted answer. (Or I can expand it if you don't want to.) $\endgroup$
    – cjs
    Jun 11 at 9:46

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