Testing a New KC-135 Anti-Missile System

Northrop Grumman received a $31.7 million contract to supply three next generation anti-missile systems for testing on Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command KC-135 tankers, the company announced. “This open architecture configuration, with its increased capability and reliability, provides the next level of aircraft protection,” company countermeasures vice president Carl Smith said in a June 22 release. The aft-fuselage mounted fairing contains four missile warning sensors and a multiband laser to jam infrared missile seekers from any direction, according to the company. The “third generation” system builds on the Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) system currently in service on Air Force heavies, adding the new Viper laser, advanced processor, and control interface unit. The company plans to deliver the pods for ANG and AFRC trials by early 2017.