ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill., April 29 (UPI) -- Northrop Grumman has delivered the 1,000th Guardian Laser Transmitter Assembly for U.S. Marine helicopters used in Afghanistan four months ahead of schedule.
The assemblies are part of Department of Navy's Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures system.
In addition to use on the Marines' CH-53E helicopters, they are also used on ship-based CH-46E helicopters.
Northrop said it has averaged 35-45 production GLTAs each month since delivering the 500th unit to the U.S. government just more than a year ago, allowing the 1,000th GLTA to be delivered four months ahead of schedule.
"Your IRCM system continues to provide a high-priority protection for our troops on the front line and ensures they return safely," said Dan Johnson, Integrated Product Team lead for the Department of the Navy's DIRCM Systems.
"This accomplishment is a testament to the skill and dedication of our production workforce, our proven supply chain management and our long-standing strategic alliance with Selex Galileo to consistently exceed customer schedule requirements and expectations," said Carl Smith, vice president of infrared countermeasure programs at Northrop Grumman's Land and Self Protection Systems Division.
"In addition to the 1,000 GLTAs, Northrop Grumman has produced over 930 small laser transmitter assemblies for a total of nearly 2,000 production laser-based IRCM transmitters."
Each GLTA is comprised of a Viper laser assembly and a pointer-tracker assembly making it the only laser-based, directed energy IRCM system in high rate production in the world.
Northrop's IRCM system has been installed or scheduled for installation on several hundred military aircraft across the Department of Defense to protect approximately 50 different types of large fixed-wing transports and rotary-wing platforms from infrared missile attacks. The system functions by automatically detecting a missile launch, determining if it is a threat and activating a high-intensity laser-based countermeasure system to track and defeat the missile.