All platforms in the air, land and at sea, emit heat in the infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum.
This heat emission or more precisely the temperature difference between the platform and the surrounding background can be used by enemy sensors to detect the platform and /or by missile guidance heads to guide themselves to interception.
These sensors and homing heads are completely passive in the working mode, i.e. unlike radars their functioning does not provide any warning to the platform under attack.
The infrared emission (thermal) from a ship is divided into its IR Cross Section (IRCS), i.e. the total thermal power emitted, and its Infrared Signature (IRS), the detailed distribution of heat emitters across the whole platform. If a ship's IRCS is reduced, this enhances the likelihood that its decoys will be effective.
Warm Aviation and Naval assets are quite easy to detect against a cold sea and an even colder sky. As the most likely IR-based threat is the heat-seeking missile which target a platform through its IRCS in the 3-5 and 8-14 microns band, most techniques aim to reduce the radiation from a platform's surfaces and objects.
As infrared emission is a surface phenomenon, coating a platform (a ship or hellicopter, etc.) in Intermat Stealth Technology Coating System (STCS) reduces drastically radiated heat, consequently reducing its IRCS and hence coating the platform with our STCS is clearly a must and a very sensible idea. In addition our tailored STCS also incorporate radar absorbent particles so the Radar Cross Section (RCS) doesn't increase as the IRCS is drastically reduced.
Therefore, IR self-protection is very essential to the survivability of modern naval & aviation platforms. Suppressing their IR signature reduces missile lock-on range, making a missile hit less probable, and providing the crew with more time to launch decoys!