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Northrop Grumman wins FMS contract for Australian and UK P-8s

Northrop Grumman has secured a fixed price contract to support the delivery and integration of key aircraft systems for the Boeing P-8 Poseidon aircraft of Australia and the UK.

The US$27.2 million, fixed-price, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract to oversee the integration, testing, delivery and performance of the Northrop Grumman AN/AAQ-24 Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures System (LAIRCM) and the Terma ALQ-213 Electronic Warfare Management System. 

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The introduction of these capabilities will apply for Lot 9 and Lot 10 P-8A Poseidon aircraft, operated by the US Navy, Australia and the UK, enhancing the survivability and operational capability the Poseidon platforms. 

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. 

In contrast, 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.

Terma's ALQ-213(V) Electronic Warfare Management Unit (EWMU) offers a versatile, independent, non-ITAR controller solution for military Aircraft Survivability Equipment (ASE) suites. The ALQ-213(V) EWMU belongs to Terma’s family of controllers, in service on more than 2,000 aircraft, counting more than 25 different platform types operated by over 15 different countries around the globe.

The P-8A Poseidon is designed for long-range anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. It is capable of broad-area maritime and littoral operations. It is also effective for humanitarian and search and rescue missions.

A derivative of the 737-800 Next Generation, the P-8 combines superior performance and reliability with an advanced mission system that ensures maximum interoperability in the future battlespace. The Australian government is acquiring 12 P-8A Poseidon aircraft, with the final aircraft to be delivered by March 2020 and maintained at RAAF Base Edinburgh.

Australia maintains the single-largest P-8A training facility outside of the US, located at Edinburgh, South Australia. The $470 million facility is part of the government's $5.2 billion investment in Australia's P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance and patrol aircraft. 

Northrop Grumman's integration and upgrade work will be conducted in the US and is expected to be completed by February 2021. Northrop Grumman's infrared countermeasures have been installed on more than 1,800 aircraft of more than 80 types worldwide.

Northrop Grumman wins FMS contract for Australian and UK P-8s
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