PAS 2011: Guardian tested on aerial refuelling mission
Northrop Grumman is pitching its Guardian anti-missile system at the Paris Air Show, following the demonstration of the system in Afghanistan in March on a KC-135 air refuelling aircraft.
Speaking to reporters during the air show, Jeff Palombo, VP and GM of Northrop Grumman Land and Self Protection Systems, said the belly-mounted infrared countermeasures (IRCM) system was fitted to a KC-135 operating on refuelling and medevac missions in Afghanistan. The demonstration follows the successful flight testing of the system in the US on an Air National Guard 190th Air Refuelling Wing (ARW) KC-135.
Palombo said the system, which consists of a multi-band laser pointer/tracker and an ultraviolet missile warning sensor, was contained in a single pod that mounts to the underside of the fuselage.
‘The entire IRCM system is located in the pod, which can be installed without drilling any holes in the platform. You can fit the pods as and where they are needed, so they can be missionised according to the need, which makes it a very cost effective solution,' Palombo said.
The company also used the show to announce it is furthering its IRCM partnership with Selex Galileo through the signing of a formal memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly pursue international directed IRCM opportunities.
The two companies have already been working together for almost 20 years and are jointly offering a light-weight DIRCM system for helicopters for the US Army's Common IRCM (CIRCM) programme. Two industry teams are expected to be selected for a CIRCM technology demonstration phase later in 2011.
Announcing the signing of the MoU, Northrop Grumman said the international DIRCM system, which will be able to be offered without technology transfer restrictions, would reflect the architecture developed for other systems and would ‘encompass an open framework that permits the integration of various sensors, pointer/trackers and lasers'.
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