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Northrop Grumman Delivers 1000th Guardian Laser Transmitter Assembly

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by Staff Writers
Rolling Meadows IL (SPX) Apr 29, 2011
Northrop Grumman has announced the delivery of the 1,000th Guardian Laser Transmitter Assembly (GLTA) to the U.S. government for use as part of the Department of Navy's Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (DoN LAIRCM) system. DoN LAIRCM is currently installed on U.S. Marine Corps CH-53E helicopters operating in Afghanistan and on ship-based CH-46E helicopters.

Northrop Grumman has averaged between 35 and 45 production GLTAs each month since delivering the 500th unit to the U.S. government just over 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 (IRCM) 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. The Viper Laser is produced at Northrop Grumman facilities in Apopka Fla., and Rolling Meadows Ill., while the pointer tracker assembly is produced by the Northrop Grumman facility in Rolling Meadows, Ill., and a Selex Galileo facility in the U.K.

"Our ability to dual source both the Viper lasers and GLTAs positions us to support increasing customer demands," Smith added.

Northrop Grumman's IRCM system is now 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.

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