Friday, August 7, 2020

Northrop Grumman contracted for LAIRCM system to protect aircraft from infrared missiles

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Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. has been contracted by the U.S. Air Force for Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) pod provides 360-degree protection against a wide range of missile threats. 

The contract, announced Monday by the Department of Defense, is worth more than $3.6 billion.

This contract provides for LAIRCM line replaceable units, support equipment, logistics support related activities, systems and sustaining engineering, program management, and other efforts necessary supporting efforts specified in each task/delivery order. Work will be performed in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, and is expected to be completed by December 2025.   


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According to the Northrop Grumman, the LAIRCM is designed to protect large aircraft from man-portable missiles, increases crew-warning time, decreases false alarm rates and automatically counters advanced IR missile systems by directing a high-intensity modulated laser beam into the missile seeker, with no action required by the crew.

The LAIRCM pod provides 360-degree protection against a wide range of missile threats. When LAIRCM detects a man-portable air-defense system (MANPADS) launch, it tracks the incoming missile and uses a laser beam to jam the missile’s guidance system, causing it to miss the target aircraft.

The entire process occurs in just a few seconds and requires no action on the part of the aircraft crew.

The system includes a multiband laser pointer/tracker and four infrared missile warning sensors. The system is contained almost entirely in a single pod that mounts to the underside of the fuselage and can be moved easily from one aircraft to another, as needed.

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Executive Editor

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