Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems have been awarded separate contracts by the US Army Contracting Command to provide infrared countermeasures systems and support.

The army has awarded a contract to Northrop Grumman for Common Infrared Countermeasure (CIRCM) systems and support services. The initial task order is valued at $82.8m and the contract has a ceiling value of $482m.

The contract award will expand the production of CIRCM systems. Additionally, it will enhance the logistics support infrastructure as the programme moves toward full-rate production.

Northrop Grumman land and avionics C4ISR vice-president Bob Gough said: “This award will allow the army to extend the proven protection of CIRCM to additional aircraft and missions, providing advanced aircraft survivability where it is needed most.”

The CIRCM system makes use of laser energy to protect rotary-wing and medium fixed-wing aircraft against surface-to-air infrared missile threats.

It is flexible to support the integration of additional systems and sensors to address current and emerging threats.

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The Department of Defense Milestone Decision Authority awarded Milestone C to the CIRCM system in September last year.

The system features a pointer-tracker unit, advanced Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL) technology, and system processor unit.

Northrop Grumman is expected to complete contracted work by 30 July 2024.

The $242.25m contract awarded to BAE Systems Information and Electronic Systems Integration involves the supply of services for the OT-225 Advanced Threat Infrared Countermeasures System (ATIRCM) and the AN/AAR-57(V) Common Missile Warning System.

Services will include engineering, integration, logistics, and other technical support.

ATIRCM is designed to defend aircraft against an array of shoulder-fired, vehicle-launched, and other modern infrared-guided missile threats.