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Defense and Intelligence

Northrop Looks to Boost Missile Warning Output With Additional Orders for Leonardo Laser

New supply contract

Northrop Looks to Boost Missile Warning Output With Additional Orders for Leonardo Laser

Northrop Grumman has booked a new full-rate production order for the Leonardo DRS Quantum Cascade Laser system, a technology enabling the company’s Common Infrared Countermeasure designed to protect aircraft from heat-seeking, surface-to-air missiles. 

In May 2021, the U.S. Army awarded Northrop Grumman a five-year, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with a potential $959.1 million value to supply the CIRCM. The QCL technology provides CIRCM the capability to foil missiles fired at unlimited rounds, Leonardo said.

CIRCM, a fifth-generation, laser-based infrared countermeasure system lighter in weight, has been deployed in the Army’s rotary-wing aircraft. According to Leonardo, the system recently achieved a major milestone in its initial operational capability for the service branch, grooming the system for accelerated use in more than 1,500 helicopters.

Timothy Day, Leonardo’s senior vice president and DRS Daylight Solutions general manager, described the company’s quantum cascade laser technology as the “ultimate choice for survivability” and a source of pride for Leonardo to maintain its partnership with Northrop to protect American military aircrews from surface-to-air missile threats. 

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