Northrop Grumman has received milestone C approval to enter the production phase for a laser-based airborne technology designed to detect, track and counter incoming missiles.
The Department of Defense Milestone Decision Authority approved the Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures pod for the KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft, the company said Wednesday.
LAIRCM uses a processor, sensors and a laser pointer built to help protect the KC-135 aircraft from missile threats during aerial refueling, evacuation and transport missions.
The KC-135 Program Office, Air Force Reserve Command and Air National Guard helped the company perform laboratory and field tests on the pod-based technology.
More than 1,800 aircraft platforms are equipped with Northrop-made IR countermeasure systems.