The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded a $152m in-service support contract for large aircraft infrared countermeasures (LAIRCM) used by the UK’s armed forces in current operations.

Under the three-year contract, Northrop Grumman will provide spares, repairs, logistic maintenance, engineering, sustainment and training for the LAIRCM programme.

The LAIRCM is an aircraft protection system to guard large fixed-wing transports and rotary-wing platforms from infrared missile attacks.

It can automatically detect a missile launch, determine if it is a threat and activate a high-intensity laser-based countermeasure system to track and defeat the missile.

Northrop will carry out the repair and maintenance for LAIRCM at its diagnostic and maintenance support facility in Chester, UK.

In July 2008, Northrop was awarded a contract to provide LAIRCM to the UK’s Royal Air Force’s (RAF) air-to-air refuelling and transport aircraft.