Contract for LAIRCM Aircraft Defense Sytems Worth up to $3.2B
With the proliferation of global terrorism and its continuing links to state sponsors, the threat of man-portable anti-aircraft missiles (MANPADS) continues to receive attention. The USA’s response has been multi-layered, from programs to remove surplus MANPADS from arsenals around the world to systems like the ATIRCM/CMWS, the AN/ALQ-144 “disco ball,” and LAIRCM for its aircraft. See esp. Military Aerospace Technology’s article “Protecting the Big Birds.” Proposals are even being discussed to require these kinds of countermeasures on all civilian aircraft (Israel is already doing this).
Northrop Grumman’s Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) is a laser-based countermeasures system that can defend a wide range of aircraft from an infrared missile attack by automatically detecting a missile launch, determining if it is a threat, and activating a high-intensity system of pulsed lasers to track and defeat the threat by confusing its guidance head.
LAIRCM: Contracts, Modifications & Delivery Orders
The U.S. Air Force’s Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base recently issued a 5-year, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract to deliver LAIRCM system hardware and support for the C-17 Globemaster III and C-130 Hercules family of transport aircraft. The contract includes systems engineering, program management, logistics, and spares as well as installation, installation support, and field service support.
The 5-year IDIQ contract has an expected ceiling of $3.2 billion, and runs through December 2010. It can be expanded to include new aircraft types, and also allows foreign military purchases and buys by other US government agencies. In other words, anyone in the world buying LAIRCM systems is almost certain to buy them under contract #FA8625-06-D-6453.
May 11/06: Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. in Rolling Meadows, IL received a maximum $49.5 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for delivery of large aircraft infrared countermeasure (LAIRCM) system hardware, support equipment and services for C-17 and C-130 transport aircraft. Solicitations began in early November 2005, negotiations were complete May 2006, and work will be complete December 2010. The Headquarters Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH issued the contract. At this time, $36.8 million has been obligated (FA8625-06-D-6453, Delivery Order 0001).
Additional Readings & Sources
- GlobalSecurity.org – Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM)
- Military Aerospace Technology – Protecting the Big Birds
- Northrop-Grumman (July 17/06) – Northrop Grumman to Supply Infrared Countermeasures for U.S Air Force