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Ghostrider gunships receive upgraded EW countermeasure

3rd March 2022 - 11:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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AC-130J Ghostrider gunship at Kadena Air Base in Japan, 29 March 2021. (Photo: USAF/Capt Renee Douglas)

ALQ-251 RFCM systems aboard AC-130J Ghostrider aircraft are designed to protect against EW systems and radar-guided weapons in contested environments.

The ALQ-251 RF countermeasure (RFCM) system from Northrop Grumman has been delivered to US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) as part of an AC-130J aircraft upgrade led by Sierra Nevada Corporation.

The ALQ-251 ‘will provide superior situational awareness and protection against electronic warfare systems and radar-guided weapons in contested and congested electromagnetic spectrum environments’, Northrop Grumman noted in a 1 March announcement.

USSOCOM in July 2020 awarded Sierra Nevada Corporation a $700 million contract to act as prime systems integrator for the RFCM upgrade on AC-130J Ghostrider gunships and MC-130J Commando II tanker aircraft, to help protect aircrew from air- and land-based enemy radar and missile systems.

The deal includes RFCM system engineering services, logistics support and spare parts.

BAE Systems was the previous RFCM system provider for the AC-130J and MC-130J, having been awarded a contract in January 2016.

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