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Northrop Grumman receives US$3.6bn for infrared countermeasure systems

northrop grumman laircm system
Northrop Grumman has been selected to provide infrared countermeasure systems under a $3.6 billion IDIQ award from the USAF (Source Northrop Grumman)

Northrop Grumman has secured US$3.6 billion in indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) funding to roll out Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasure (LAIRCM) systems to protect large military aircraft. 

Northrop Grumman’s LAIRCM system protects aircrews by detecting, tracking and jamming incoming infrared threats without the need for user intervention. The LAIRCM system is part of Northrop Grumman's Directional Infrared Countermeasure (DIRCM) services. 

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Bob Gough, vice president, land and avionics C4ISR division, Northrop Grumman, said, "This new IDIQ award extends Northrop Grumman’s multi-decade support of successful aircrew protection provided by our infrared countermeasure systems, and demonstrates our customer’s confidence in LAIRCM’s ability to address the rapidly changing threat environment."

Traditional IR countermeasures are not effective against the modern IR missiles that are growing in popularity among terrorist groups and in third-world countries.

A DIRCM 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 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.

Under the IDIQ, the Air Force may issue task or delivery order awards up to the ceiling amount specified in the contract. Work under the contract is set to conclude in 2025, and the initial task order is $2.4 million for logistics support services.

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. 

Northrop Grumman infrared countermeasures have been installed on more than 1,800 aircraft of more than 80 types worldwide.

Northrop Grumman receives US$3.6bn for infrared countermeasure systems
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