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12:09 PM, January 4, 2019
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LAIRCM (image: Northrop Grumman)

Northrop Grumman has won a $3.6 billion United States Air Force (USAF) indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract for Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasure (LAIRCM) systems.

According to the company, the LAIRCM system protects aircrews by detecting, tracking and jamming incoming infrared threats without the need for user intervention.

The LAIRCM pod provides 360-degree protection against a wide range of missile threats. When it detects a man-portable air-defense system (MANPADS) launch, it tracks the incoming missile and uses a laser beam to jam the missile’s guidance system, causing it to miss the target aircraft. The process is quick and requires no action on the part of the aircraft crew. The system includes a multiband laser pointer/tracker and four infrared missile warning sensors.

Work is expected to be completed by 2025, the company said in a statement Thursday.

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