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Northrop Grumman secures RAAF aircraft protection systems sustainment contract

Northrop Grumman has announced a $96 million sustainment agreement to support the Royal Australian Air Force’s large aircraft infrared countermeasure systems.

Northrop Grumman’s LAIRCM functions by automatically detecting a missile launch, determining whether it is a threat, and activating a high-intensity, laser-based countermeasure system to track and defeat the missile.

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Under the terms of the $96 million award, Northrop Grumman will provide sustainment, repair, engineering, logistics and training support services for LAIRCM, AN/AAR-47 and AN/APR-39. Currently, five aircraft types in the RAAF are protected with LAIRCM.

Bob Gough, Northrop Grumman’s vice president for land and avionics C4ISR, said, “Since 2001, Northrop Grumman and the RAAF have been working in partnership to keep aircrews safe from the threat of infrared-guided missiles.”

A DIRCM (directional infrared countermeasure) system is required to defeat the latest and future advanced IR threats, and has a lower life cycle cost compared with other IR countermeasure approaches.

DAIRCM (distributed aperture infrared countermeasure) technologies, including LAIRCM, provide major advantages over traditional IR countermeasures, including:

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  • Simultaneously tracking and defeating threats in clutter environments;
  • Fast, accurate threat detection and simultaneous jamming in all current IR threat Bands (I, II and IV);
  • Counters all fielded IR missile threats using a single generic jam waveform;
  • Complete end-to-end self-testing features reduce life cycle maintenance; and
  • Compatible with existing support facilities.

The LAIRCM platform was successfully rolled out for the first time on large aircraft, including C-5 Galaxy, C-17 Globemaster III and C-130 Hercules series aircraft, in 2002.

“This Australia-based sustainment activity is critical to keeping the LAIRCM system ready for aircrew safety and mission success,” Gough added. 

Work will be performed at Northrop Grumman’s repair facility at the RAAF Edinburgh base in South Australia. The facility provides efficient in-country support services for the repair and maintenance of LAIRCM systems, cutting the time to return a system to service by as much as 50 percent.

Northrop Grumman’s infrared countermeasure systems have been installed on more than 1,500 aircraft of more than 80 different types, including both fixed and rotary wing.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, C4ISR, space, strike, and logistics and modernisation to customers worldwide.

Northrop Grumman secures RAAF aircraft protection systems sustainment contract
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