The RAAF’s C-130J Hercules transport fleet has achieved a final operational capability milestone of its Northrop Grumman AN/AAQ-24(V) large aircraft infrared countermeasures (LAIRCM) systems.
The systems are installed on the aircraft to provide protection against infra-red guided missiles, and were procured through a foreign military sales (FMS) acquisition under Project AIR 5416 Phase 4B2.
“The Large Aircraft Infra-Red Countermeasures provide enhanced protection against infrared guided missiles for Air Force’s fleet of C-130J tactical transport aircraft,” Director General Air Combat Enablers, AIRCDRE Mark Green said in a statement. “Maintaining effective defences against these prolific and increasingly sophisticated weapons is essential to the safe operation of the aircraft.
“Defence has been able to complete this critical upgrade three months earlier than projected, and under budget by $146.85 million.”
Eight of the RAAF’s 12 C-130Js were modified locally by Airbus Australia Pacific at RAAF Richmond, and elements of the LAIRCM systems will be maintained by Northrop Grumman at RAAF Edinburgh. CAE Australia has also upgraded the RAAF’s C-130J simulator to reflect the LAIRCM capability.