May 18 (UPI) -- BAE Systems announced a $26.7 million Navy contract to fit its infrared countermeasures system onto KC-130J cargo and refueling planes, the company said on Monday.
The contract calls for the installation of the Navy's Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures system, or LAIRCM, the aircraft.
The system is a defensive warning package combining a missile warning system and infrared laser jammer countermeasure system to protect the aircraft from guided missiles.
Up to 19 KC-130J planes of the Navy will receive the system, which will be installed in Crestview, Fla., in conjunction with Vertex Aerospace LLC.
"We understand how vital the KC-130J is to the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps and the enhanced capability the LAIRCM system brings to the fight," Pete Trainer, of BAE Systems' Air Force Solutions, said in a statement. "We're excited that NAWCAD [Navy Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division] has entrusted us to integrate this system onto their aircraft to ensure the safety of the aircrews and protect this vital capability."
The KC-130 series, built by Lockheed Martin, is capable of aircraft carrier landings despite its size, and is in use by the militaries of 17 countries. France received its second, a refueling plane, in February.
The aircraft is capable of detecting, tracking and incoming missiles, incorporating advanced missile warning sensors, a compact laser pointer/tracker and a processor in a single pod that can be readily transferred between aircraft. Already installed on older KC-130 planes, the pod is attached to the underside of the plane.
On Friday, the Defense Department also announced an unrelated $1.1 billion contract modification with BAE, exercising a five-year option on a 10-year base contract for depot-level repairables supporting multiple weapon systems platforms used by the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and the Defense Logistics Agency.