ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. - U.S. Air Force leaders are looking to Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. in Rolling Meadows, Ill., to provide optoelectronic systems to defend utility aircraft from heat-seeking missiles.
Northrop Grumman will provide AAQ-24 (V) large aircraft infrared countermeasures (LAIRCM) system hardware and spare parts for 10 Air Force Reserve C-130 turboprop aircraft, and to field the LAIRCM Life configuration on 22 C-17 jet transport aircraft.
Company engineers are working under terms of a $78 million contract modification awarded in July from the Air Force Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
Northrop Grumman also is providing LAIRCM equipment for Air Force Special Operations Command MC-130 Talon aircraft, as well as electronics and optoelectronics kits, equipment, and laser safety goggles for two C-130H2 combat loss replacement cargo and support aircraft.
The AN/AAQ-24 Directional Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) is a high-priority U.S. Special Operations Command program to provide fast and accurate threat detection, processing, tracking, and countermeasures to defeat current and future infrared missiles.
The ability to counter more sophisticated threats is built into the system by providing for direct insertion of a laser-based countermeasure for an all-band laser.