Northrop Grumman
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Countermeasure Systems Guard Against IR Threats

July 12, 2021
The LAIRCM system automatically detects incoming missiles with IR guidance systems and fires a high-power laser beam at the IR seeker.

As part of an existing indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract, Northrop Grumman Corp. has been awarded $146 million by the U.S. Air Force for additional Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasure (LAIRCM) systems to protect against infrared (IR) guided missiles. The LAIRCM systems will be added to U.S. and international fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft, including C-5, C-17, C-130J, CH-53K, and P-8 aircraft, to warn and protect against incoming missiles with IR seeker systems.

“Northrop Grumman has been protecting U.S. Air Force platforms from missile threats for more than 25 years,” said Bob Gough, vice-president, navigation, targeting, and survivability for Northrop Grumman. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to delivering advanced aircraft survivability systems that help ensure aircrews make it home safely.” The company’s LAIRCM and new Common Infrared Countermeasure (CIRCM) systems are installed on 85 different types of aircraft and more than 1500 aircraft total, providing detection, tracking, and jamming of incoming IR-equipped threats. Protection is provided by directing a high-power laser beam (see the figure) into the eye of a missile’s IR seeker system.

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