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KC-135 Guardian testing advances

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posted on May, 29 2013 @ 09:44 PM
Testing of the Guardian anti-missile system on a KC-135 airframe has moved to the next level. In 2011, the system was successfully flown mounted on a KC-135, with good reviews by the crew. Since January, ground crews have been testing the system on a KC-135 at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Michigan. They have developed procedures to install and work on the system, known as LAIRCM (Large Aircraft InfraRed CounterMeasure). Now the next round of flight testing will occur within the next few weeks in another state and be completed by this summer.

LAIRCM is designed to defeat MANPADS systems, on take off and landing. It scans the air around the aircraft, and when it detects a missile being fired, it reacts by firing a laser at the missile, effectively jamming their sensors by blinding them. There is no action required by the crew, as the entire intercept is automatically performed by the system.

Any aircraft receiving the pod requires extra antennas, and wiring for where the pod attaches to the airframe, but once that's completed the pod can be detached and reattached within a few minutes. This would allow the pod to be detached for training missions within the US, or where there is no threat to the aircraft, but quickly be reinstalled when flying into a high threat area.

3/21/2013 - SELFRIDGE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mich. -- Ground testing has successfully concluded on a prototype missile countermeasure device under review at Selfridge Air National Guard Base. The device is being tested on a KC-135 Stratotanker.

The Selfridge-based KC-135, flown by the 171st Air Refueling Squadron, will now undergo a series of flight tests to test the LAIRCM -- large aircraft infrared countermeasure -- system. The flight tests will be conducted at an Air Force test center in another state and are to begin in a few weeks. Testing is scheduled to be complete by early summer.

Since mid-January, a team of nine hand-picked Airmen from the 191st Maintenance Squadron at Selfridge have been working on the project with engineers and other specialists from the KC-135 Systems Project Office at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., and from Northrop Grumman Corp., which developed the LAIRCM system, known as The Guardian. The initial work on the project was to modify a KC-135 to be able to accept The Guardian pod on the rear of the aircraft and to integrate it as needed with existing aircraft systems. The work was painstakingly thorough, as the Airmen and specialists worked to develop written guidelines for future installations of the system and to identify potential modifications, should the prototype be put into production.

posted on May, 30 2013 @ 06:21 AM
Thats all find an dandy except they will probably never take of and landa HVAA assest like a KC-135 anywhere near a manpad launching site so I'm figuring more pork for politions or more money to cover up black projects. Either way, I can't thnk of any resent time where a kc-135 or a kc-10 for that matter needed countermeasuers for manpads in this kind of environment.

that being said, the KC-46 will have some state of the art counter measures on board to allow it to gef further down field in the AOR than ever before so maybe this is the test bed for the system.

posted on May, 30 2013 @ 03:47 PM
reply to post by boomer135

I agree, but on the other hand, if they're in countries that are friendly mostly because we're paying them *cough*Kyrgyzstan*cough* and someone sneaks some MANPADS into the region around the base, say some "Chechen separatists", this would be a good thing to have installed on the aircraft.

posted on Apr, 20 2019 @ 07:27 PM
The Northrop Generation 3 Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures pod has achieved Milestone C. This allows for production and deployment, and marks the end of development.

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