Northrop Grumman has been awarded a contract modification by the US Air Force (USAF) to carry on providing hardware and support for the AN/AAQ-24 large aircraft infrared countermeasure (LAIRCM) missile defense system. The $238 million project is modified from an earlier awarded contract, to deliver additional transmitters, processors, missile warning sensors, lasers, control interface units and supporting equipment to the air force. The contract serves as an extension of the company’s 14-years relationship with the air force to secure the aircrews, the LAIRCM open engineering has facilitated this system to be build up and modified over time to develop new technologies to counter rising threats, while deducting system cost, and constantly increasing authenticity leading to an exquisite total life span cost for the system, says, Carl Smith, vice-president, Northrop Grumman Land and Self Protection Systems Division infrared countermeasures programmes. Armed with five infrared (IR) missile warning system (MWS) sensors, LAIRCM is devised to secure large transport and rotary-wing aircraft from IR-guided missile threats by baffling their instruction systems, without the need of inputs from the aircrew. The system mainly safeguards aircraft against shoulder-fired, vehicle-launched, and other IR-guided missiles during normal takeoff and landing, tactical descents, assault landings, air drops, low-level flight and aerial refueling missions. The system has been fitted or preferred for installation on more than 700 military aircraft, including 11 UK military aircraft, USAF's C-5B, C-130 Hercules, C-17 Globemaster, MC-130H Talon, as well as Australia's A330 tanker and 737 airborne early warning and control aircraft. The contract facilitates support services scheduled to continue till April 2016.
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