Northrop Grumman has secured a combined order worth $111m from the US Air Force (USAF) to deliver hardware and support for the large aircraft infrared countermeasure (LAIRCM) system.

The latest contract is a modification to the firm-fixed-price contract awarded by the USAF earlier.

LAIRCM is capable of automatically detecting a missile launch and deciding whether it is a threat. It will be able to activate a high-intensity laser-based countermeasure system to track and defeat the missile.

LAIRCM features five infrared (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 gimbaled system, fine track sensor (FTS) and a Viper laser.

"LAIRCM is capable of automatically detecting a missile launch and deciding whether it is a threat."

Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems infrared countermeasures vice-president Carl Smith said: "Aircraft survivability equipment is an essential element of protecting our aircrews.

"Because of our approach toward modular open systems architecture, we’re able to help our warfighters stay ahead of emerging threats by continuing to introduce new technologies, adding additional system capability while decreasing system cost and increasing reliability."

Under this new order, Northrop Grumman will be responsible to deliver additional transmitters, missile warning sensors, processors, lasers, control interface units and supporting equipment to the Air Force and various customers worldwide.

The scope of the delivery includes a modernised control interface unit replacement. The delivery of the equipment is expected to take place through April 2017.

Currently, Northrop’s infrared countermeasure systems are installed or scheduled for installation on more than 1,000 military aircraft worldwide.

These are aimed to protect 55 types of large fixed-wing transports and rotary-wing platforms from infrared missile attacks.