Northrop Grumman has secured a contract from Defense Microelectronics Activity (DMEA) to provide an advanced anti-missile system to the US Air National Guard (ANG) and Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC).
Under this $31.7m contract, the company is responsible for delivering three modernised third-generation pods that are based on its Guardian system.
The system is specifically developed for the ANG and AFRC’s KC-135 aircraft.
Northrop Grumman Land and Self Protection Systems Division infrared countermeasure programmes vice-president Carl Smith said: "This open architecture configuration, with its increased capability and reliability, provides the next level of aircraft protection.
"The third-generation role-fit pod configuration offers reliable, flexible protection that is ideally suited to numerous military and commercial aircraft."
Work under the contract is expected to be completed by early 2017.
The new upgraded pod features the large aircraft infrared countermeasures (LAIRCM) Block 30 configuration that combines the system processor technology, infrared missile warning sensors, the Viper laser and a new control interface unit.
It offers 360-degree protection against various missile threats as LAIRCM can detect a man-portable air-defense system (MANPADS) launch and tracks the incoming missile as well as uses a laser beam to jam the missile’s guidance system.
This third-generation pod comprises a multiband laser pointer / tracker and four infrared missile warning sensors to detect the missiles.
Currently, various infrared countermeasure systems are installed or scheduled for installation on more than 1,000 military aircraft worldwide.
Image: The modernised third-generation pod offers 360-degree protection against various missile threats. Photo: courtesy of Northrop Grumman Corporation.