Northrop Grumman Systems has been awarded a $463m contract to continue providing support services for the US Air Force’s (USAF) AN/AAQ-24(V) Large Aircraft Infrared (LAIRCM) system.

Under the contract, the company will perform depot-level repair on a total of 20 LAIRCM system components at Warner Robins Regional Support Center located in Georgia, US.

Derived from the AN/AAQ-24(V) Nemesis, the AN/AAQ-24(v) LAIRCM is a directed Infra Red (IR) countermeasures system, designed to safeguard large transport and rotary-wing aircraft from a range of IR-guided missile threats, using a laser pointer-tracker.

Critical to troops’ safety, the system defends aircrafts by activating a high-intensity system of pulsed lasers upon detection of missile launches, to track and defeat the threat by confusing its guidance system without requiring input from the aircrew.

Automatic protection is provided against shoulder-fired, vehicle-launched and other IR-guided missiles during normal take-off and landing, assault landings, tactical descents, air drops, low-level flight and aerial refuelling missions.

LAIRCM is equipped with five IR missile warning system (MWS) sensors, central processor, control indicator unit (CIU) for cockpit display, two pointer-tracker / jamming subsystems or guardian laser tracker assemblies (GLTA) consisting of four-axis stabilised gimballed system, fine track sensor (FTS) and a viper laser.

The system is currently operating on the USAF’s C-17 Globemaster III and C-130 Hercules transport aircraft and is also expected to be deployed on a total of 156 US Marine Corps’ (USMC) CH-53E, CH-53D and CH-46E medium-lift and heavy-lift, assault support helicopters.

Repair work under the contract is scheduled to be complete by 26 July 2017, with the Air Force Sustainment Center, Robins Air Force Base, Warner Robins, Georgia, serving as the contracting activity.