Northrop Grumman to provide countermeasure systems for AFSOC aircraft

4 January 2016 (Last Updated January 4th, 2016 18:30)

Northrop Grumman has secured a contract from the US Air Force's Special Operations Command (AFSOC) to provide advanced countermeasure systems for AC-130J and MC-130J aircraft.

Northrop Grumman has secured a contract from the US Air Force’s Special Operations Command (AFSOC) to provide advanced countermeasure systems for AC-130J and MC-130J aircraft.

Valued at $32.8m, the contract will see the company’s Land and Avionics C4ISR division provide radio frequency countermeasure systems for the aircraft.

The measures will enable the detection and identification of any potential threats to these aircraft.

"Our solution is designed to detect and defeat not only current radio frequency threats, but also to have the flexibility to protect our warfighters as the threat evolves."

Northrop Grumman division vice-president and general manager Jeff Palombo said: "Our solution is designed to detect and defeat not only current radio frequency threats, but also to have the flexibility to protect our warfighters as the threat evolves.

"This approach is a subtle, yet important characteristic of our offering that protects our customer’s investment in their initial RFCM system procurement while positioning AFSOC AC / MC-130 gunships for the complex battlespace of the immediate future."

Previously known as the Combat Shadow II, the MC-130J Commando II aircraft is an improved variant of the C-130J aircraft.

The special operations tanker aircraft is designed to replace the ageing fleet of MC-130E and P tankers.

Developed under the AC / MC-130J programme, the MC-130J can be deployed for missions requiring clandestine, single ship / formation, low-level in-flight refuelling (IFR) for helicopters and tilt-rotor aircraft of the US Special Operation Forces (SOF).

Meanwhile, the AC-130J Ghostrider is a hybrid C-130 model with the flying proficiencies of the MC-130J Commando II and the combat capabilities of an AC-130, and is primarily designed for close air support and air interdiction missions.

Replacing the legacy AC-130H / U aircraft of the USAF, the new aircraft is primarily designed for close air support and air interdiction missions.