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More USAF airplanes fitted with IR countermeasures

09 May 2023

Northrop Grumman’s “indefinite contract” extended to supply large airframes with infrared tracking and jamming systems.

Northrop Grumman has announced it is continuing its work for the U.S. Air Force for additional Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasure (LAIRCM) systems.

The defense technologies company has received the work as part of an existing indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract. Details of the value, numbers and the nature of the aircraft receiving the equipment were not disclosed.

“With its modular, scalable architecture, LAIRCM can adapt to numerous airframes and add technologies that enhance protection capabilities,” said Bob Gough, vice president, navigation, targeting and survivability, Northrop Grumman.

“This proven approach has enabled us to provide the U.S. Air Force and thousands of aircrews with unmatched protection and aircraft survivability equipment that helps them stay safe against emerging threats.”

The LAIRCM system defends domestic and international aircrews by detecting, tracking and jamming incoming infrared threats. The system automatically counters advanced infrared missile systems by directing a high-intensity laser beam into the missile seeker.

Under these orders, Northrop Grumman is providing LAIRCM upgrades, modifications and installations on a wide range of U.S. fixed-wing and rotary wing aircraft. Additionally, this contract covers platforms operated by international customers around the globe.

BAE Systems updates Athena camera

Military and aerospace solutions provider BAE Systems has unveiled a new version of its Athena 1920 high-definition thermal camera core, which can now support missions requiring 360-degree situational awareness, vehicle protection, and space-based surveillance.

The Athena 1920 delivers high-definition infrared imagery with exceptional clarity, minimal motion blur, and sharp detail in degraded visual conditions. The small, lightweight, and power-efficient Athena 1920 is ideal for a variety of applications, including wide-area surveillance, threat detection and monitoring, targeting, and commercial applications.

Robyn Decker, Director of Lexington Business Center and Sensor Solutions at BAE Systems, commented, “Athena 1920 is already one of the most capable high-definition thermal sensors, and we’ve enhanced it to help our customers better execute their challenging missions.”

The new thermal camera core has protective coatings that resist humidity, heat, and corrosion. For operation in space and high-altitude environments, Athena 1920 now has redundant software-based single event upset mitigation to help reduce the impacts of harmful radiation.

The Athena 1920 also features two frame rates options (30Hz and 60Hz) and frame synchronization for multi-camera systems. Its sensor hardening allows for the delivery of high-quality, broad-view night vision images from a range of platforms, including ground vehicles, aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, and satellites.

In addition, images captured from multiple Athena 1920s running at the same time can be chained together for broader situational awareness, including real-time 360-degree sensing capabilities for a ground vehicle.

Chromasens GmbHTeledyne LumeneraCommonlands LLCEKSMA OpticsTRIOPTICS GmbHSPECTROGON ABPhoton Engineering, LLC
© 2023 SPIE Europe
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