Northrop Grumman has received a follow-on contract from the US Navy to provide advanced threat warning (ATW) sensors as part of infrared countermeasures for navy aircraft.
The modification contract stems from a previously awarded $35m contract to Northrop in 2011 to develop upgrades to the already fielded Department of Navy Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (DoN LAIRCM) infrared missile warning system for the US Naval Air Systems Command.
Under the $25.5m contract, the company will deliver 110 ATW sensors that form an integral component of DoN LAIRCM system and also upgrade 200 processors equipped onboard the system to help better protect aircrew and aircraft from battlefield threats.
Carl Smith, Northrop Grumman's Land and Self Protection Systems division infrared countermeasures programmes vice president, said that the Northrop's multifunction ATW would provide lightweight sensors, including missile warning, laser warning, and hostile fire detection capability for troops.
"ATW's multifunctionality can significantly improve affordability, while reducing size, weight and power, over four individual subsystems," Smith added.
The ATW sensors provides enhanced overall aircrew situational awareness and survivability against heat-seeking missiles, small arms fire, medium-calibre machine gun fire, anti-aircraft artillery, unguided rockets and laser-guided weapons.
Integrated with threat warning indicators, multifunction displays and helmet-mounted displays, the sensors provides overall battlefield situational awareness and immediate information for the aircrew to avoid the threat, while enabling them to send information off board directing ground forces or other aircraft to respond.
Capable of automatically detecting a missile launch, the LAIRCM system can also identify threats and activates a high-intensity, laser-based countermeasure system to track and eliminate the missile.
The IRCM systems are scheduled for installation across the US Department of Defense on more than 700 military aircraft to protect various large fixed-wing transports and rotary-wing platforms from infrared missile attacks.