U.S. Approves Sale of LAIRCM Systems to Protect Qatar’s Two 747-800 Head-of-State Aircraft

The U.S. State Department has approved a possible sale of two AN/AAQ-24(V)N Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) systems to Qatar for an estimated cost of $86 million.

The systems will be used to protect two Boeing 747-800 Head-of-State aircraft operated by the Qatar Amiri Flight.

The sale will be conducted through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program and the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which handles the FMS sales, delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on Sept. 24.

The Government of Qatar has earlier requested to buy two AN/AAQ-24(V)N Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) systems. This proposed sale will include: 12 Guardian Laser Turret Assemblies (GLTA) (6 installed, 6 spares); seven LAIRCM System Processor Replacements (LSPR) ( 2 installed 5 spares); 23 Missile Warning Sensors (MWS) (10 installed, 13 spares); Control Indicator Unit Replacements (CIURs); Smart Card Assemblies (SCAs); High Capacity Cards (HCCs); User Data Memory (UDM) cards; initial spares; consumables; repair and return support; support equipment; engineering design; integration; hardware integration; flight test and certifications; selective availability anti-spoofing modules (SAASM); publications and technical documentation; training and training equipment; field service representatives; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support; and other related elements of logistics and program support.

The AN/AAQ-24 system is a directional infrared countermeasure (DIRCM) system to protect large aircraft from infrared (IR) homing (heat seeking) man-portable missiles. It automatically detecting, tracking and jamming incoming infrared threats.

The proposed sale will improve Qatar’s capability to deter regional threats. The self-protection suite will facilitate a more robust capability into areas of increased missile threats. Qatar is host to the U.S. Central Command forces and serves as a critical forward-deployed location in the region.

The prime contractor of the proposed sale will be Northrop Grumman, Rolling Meadows, IL.

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