Northrop Grumman opens LAIRCM support facility at Edinburgh

From left, Northrop Grumman Director, Aircraft Survivability, Land & Avionics C4ISR Division, Mr PJ Patel; Senior Australian Defence Force Officer Edinburgh Defence Precinct, Air Commodore (AIRCDRE) Joe Iervasi, AM; Northrop Grumman Vice President Aircraft Survivability, Land & Avionics C4ISR Division, Mr Carl Smith; Head of Joint Systems Division, Rear Admiral Tony Dalton, CSC, RAN; Assistant Secretary Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare, Mr Ivan Zlabur; Northrop Grumman Sector Vice President and General Manager, Land & Avionics C4ISR Division, Ms Mary Petryszyn; and Chief Executive Northrop Australia Division, Mr Ian Irving gather around as AIRCDRE cuts the ribbon to official open the Northrop Grumman Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures In-Country Repair Facility at RAAF Base Edinburgh.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 systems are currently installed on six Royal Australian Air Force aircraft types – that is 57 aircraft in total – and there are plans to add three additional platforms in the next five years, the company said in a statement.

“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.

“This facility will contribute to our customers’ continued mission success, significantly broaden our maintenance capabilities and reduce repair times by up to 50 per cent. 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.”

LAIRCM systems have either been installed or are scheduled for installation on more than 1,500 military aircraft worldwide.

“The opening of this facility at RAAF Edinburgh, in partnership with the RAAF and Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group, exemplifies Northrop Grumman’s plans to substantially grow its Australian footprint over the coming period,” said Ian Irving, chief executive of Northrop Grumman Australia.

“It also demonstrates our commitment to expanding our sustainment and logistics activities here at RAAF Edinburgh and elsewhere across Australia in support of Australian Defence Force platforms and capabilities.

“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 at RAAF Base Edinburgh was officially opened by Rear Admiral Tony Dalton, head of the Joint Systems Division at CASG, on March 30.