Officials of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, are asking engineers at the Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems segment in Rolling Meadows, Ill., to install the electro-optical Large Aircraft Infrared Counter Measures (LAIRCM) aboard the aircraft.
Northrop Grumman will provide LAIRCM C-130 group A kits and installations on 11 AC-130H gunships, 12 MC-130U gunships, and five EC-130J psychological operations aircraft under terms of the contract modification.
LAIRCM automatically detects a missile launch, determines if it is a threat, and activates a high-intensity laser-based countermeasure system to track and defeat the missile, Northrop Grumman officials say.
LAIRCM focuses high-intensity laser energy at the infrared seeker head of incoming missiles to blind the missile and force it off its target. The system is designed to protect large aircraft such as the C-130 from shoulder-fired infrared missiles like the U.S. Stinger when the aircraft is operating close to the ground, such as on takeoff and landing, as well as during low-level operations.
The AC-130H Spectre gunship is for close air support, air interdiction, and force protection missions like supporting ground troops, escorting convoys, and flying urban operations. The MC-130U special operations aircraft is for infiltration, exfiltration, and resupply of special operations forces. The EC-130J Commando Solo aircraft is for psychological operations and civil affairs broadcast missions in the standard AM, FM, HF, TV, and military communications bands.
On this contract modification Northrop Grumman will do the work at Hurlburt Field in Crestview, Fla., and should be finished by April 2017. For more information contact Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems online at www.northropgrumman.com, or the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at www.wpafb.af.mil/aflcmc.