04 Juni 2010

MRTT LAIRCM Installation Site Undecided

04 Juni 2010

Holdups in deciding the site for the LAIRCM installation could mean delays for delivery of the first MRTTs to the RAAF. (photo : alienbreed)

Airbus and Australia are pressuring the US government to allow the Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) equipment for the RAAF A330 Multi Role Tanker Transports to be fitted at Getafe in Spain instead of the US or Australia as US security officials are demanding.
The negotiations have been underway for several months.

There are two A330 MRTTs destined for Australia undergoing final stages of their test program in Spain and if there are further holdups in deciding the site for the LAIRCM installation there could be additional delays in the delivery of the aircraft to the Australians.

The UK MRTT program, known as Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA), was given special dispensation from the US to have the system installed but the Australian program has yet to receive the same clearance.

Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures/LAIRCM (photo : geond)

The LAIRCM system is an active countermeasure that defeats the threat missile guidance system by directing a high-intensity modulated laser beam into the missile seeker.

In addition, the LAIRCM system automatically counters advanced IR missile systems with no action required by the crew.

The pilot will simply be informed that a threat missile was detected and jammed.


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