On 3 January, Northrop Grumman Corporation confirmed that the company has received a $3.6 billion indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) award for Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasure (LAIRCM) systems and support from the U.S. Air Force.
According to a statement, 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. The initial task order is $2.4 million for logistics support services.
Northrop Grumman’s LAIRCM system protects aircrews by detecting, tracking and jamming incoming infrared threats without the need for user intervention.
“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,” said Bob Gough, vice president, land and avionics C4ISR division, Northrop Grumman.
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.