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BAE Systems wins $27M deal to fit IR defense kit on USAF aircraft

19 May 2020

Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures system designed to protect KC-130J transport and aerial refueling plane.

The U.S. Navy’s Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division’s (NAWCAD) Aircraft Prototyping Systems Division has awarded BAE Systems a prime position on a $26.7 million task order to install, integrate, and test the Department of the Navy (DoN) Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) system on KC-130J aerial transport and refueling aircraft.

The DoN LAIRCM advanced missile warning system improves aircraft capability and survivability by countering advanced infrared missile system threats.

The Lockheed Martin KC-130 is an extended-range tanker version of the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft modified for aerial refueling. The KC-130J is the latest variant operated by the United States Marine Corps, with 48 delivered so far out of 79 ordered.

“We understand how vital the KC-130J is to the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps and the enhanced capability the DoN LAIRCM system brings to the fight,” commented Pete Trainer, vice president and general manager of BAE Systems’ Air Force Solutions.

BAE's turnkey solution provides program management, inventory control, engineering support, installation, and system testing of the DoN LAIRCM upgrade. Aircraft maintenance and support activities will also be provided as required.

19 aircraft to be protected

This is the second such contract awarded to BAE under the Prototyping and Limited Production indefinite delivery indefinite quantity contract. The DoN LAIRCM installation will be performed on up to 19 KC-130J aircraft over the next five years; the work will take place in Crestview, Florida in partnership with Vertex Aerospace Aircraft Integration & Sustainment Division.

Captain Steven Nassau, program manager for Naval Air Systems Command’s PMA-207, commented, “This competitive award will allow the Marine Corps to move from government depot installation to industry without a gap in services. It is a great reflection on the dedication of the KC-130J Mission Systems Team and the contracts office. It also speaks to the flexibility of both the Navy and industry.”

BAE’s Intelligence & Security sector has extensive experience in advanced aircraft engineering, fabrication, installation, modification, systems integration, and logistics support, and has performed more than 200 separate complex modification programs involving over 2,200 aircraft. The partnershave installed Directional Infrared Countermeasures and DoN LAIRCM systems for the U.S. Air Force and foreign military customers under previous contracts.

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