Northrop Grumman opens LAIRCM support facility at Edinburgh

A C-17 with a white ribbon on the fuselage on its flypast. (Defence)
The RAAF’s C-17s are fitted with LAIRCM. (Defence)

Northrop Grumman has opened a new facility at RAAF Base Edinburgh to provide support services for the repair and maintenance of laser-based Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) systems.

LAIRCM can detect, track and, using laser, jam infrared guided missiles that have been fired at large transport aircraft. It is currently installed on the RAAF’s C-17 Globemaster and E-7A Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft, is due to be fitted to the C-130J Hercules and KC-30A MRTT, and is being delivered on the P-8A Poseidon and C-27J Spartan. In all ultimately 57 RAAF aircraft will be equipped with LAIRCM.

“Nearly 16 years ago, the Royal Australian Air Force became the first international customer for our laser-based infrared countermeasures system,” said Mary Petryszyn, vice-president and general manager, land and avionics C4ISR division, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems.

The new facility will reduce repair times by up to 50 per cent, Petryszyn said.

“This increases the availability of major RAAF platforms and systems because we are now able to do the work directly in Australia with a local Australian workforce.”

Noted Ian Irving, chief executive of Northrop Grumman Australia: “The ability to sustain key systems and capabilities such as these in Australia is an important sovereign capability, resulting in the development of new high-technology skill sets, and reduced handling and turnaround time on servicing, repairs and upgrades.” 

The facility was officially opened by Rear Admiral Tony Dalton, head of the Joint Systems Division at CASG, on March 30.