ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill., Sept. 10, 2009 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) today announced the formation of a strategic alliance with SELEX Galileo, a Finmeccanica company, to compete for the U.S. Army's Common Infrared Countermeasures (CIRCM) program.
CIRCM is intended to provide the U.S. military with a laser-based infrared (IR) countermeasures solution against current and future IR threat systems. For the CIRCM program, the Northrop Grumman-SELEX Galileo team has integrated the ECLIPSE micro pointer/tracker with a processing and laser countermeasures capability to produce a 4th generation lightweight, highly reliable Directional Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) system specifically designed for medium and light helicopter protection.
SELEX Galileo began development of its Economic Compact Lightweight Pointer-Tracker System (ECLIPSE) in 2007. An ECLIPSE development model was integrated with the Northrop Grumman Viper(tm) IRCM laser, processor and missile warner in a highly successful live fire demonstration in 2008 at the Tonopah Missile Range in Nevada. In this test, the ECLIPSE prototype micro pointer/tracker successfully acquired, tracked and defeated an infrared missile in flight.
"The Northrop Grumman-SELEX Galileo team represents the most experienced laser IRCM development and production capability in the industry with three generations of DIRCM systems developed, and over 1,200 pointer trackers and 1,100 lasers produced, for 450 aircraft installations on 50 different aircraft types including large and small fixed wing, rotary wing and tilt wing," said Carl Smith, vice president of Northrop Grumman's IRCM Products.
"The versatile, open architecture approach that this new system is based upon will allow the customer to use existing equipment such as missile warners and countermeasures dispensers--while improving the survivability of these helicopters significantly with the addition of modern, laser DIRCM capability--and allow continued future growth. Backed by decades of investment, hundreds of thousands of operational flight hours and actual helicopter combat experience, this team is ready to protect the U.S. Army's warfighters," said Smith.
The only such aircraft protection system currently in full production, Northrop Grumman's LAIRCM system is now installed or scheduled for installation on several hundred military aircraft to protect approximately 50 different types of large fixed-wing transports and rotary-wing platforms from infrared missile attacks. The system functions by automatically detecting a missile launch, determining if it is a threat and activating a high-intensity laser-based countermeasure system to track and defeat the missile.
"MANPADS (man-portable air defense systems) pose one of the most serious threats to the army aviator operating in today's hostile environments," said Norman Bone, senior vice president, Radar and Advanced Targeting and Group Operations director, SELEX Galileo. "Building on over twenty years of experience within this field, we are now able to provide a lightweight low cost directed countermeasure solution based on the ECLIPSE pointer tracker, to protect helicopter platforms from the latest generations of missiles. We are proud to support the U.S. Army and look forward to continuing our partnership with Northrop Grumman for many years to come."
SELEX Galileo provides world class capabilities in surveillance, protection, tracking, targeting, avionics and imaging systems. With industrial presence in the UK, Italy and U.S., the Company builds on 60 years of experience and market presence in more than 70 countries.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provides innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.
CONTACT: Ellen Hamilton Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems (224) 625-4693 email@example.com Donna McGrory SELEX Galileo +44 (0)131 343 5115 firstname.lastname@example.org