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21 Jun 11. Northrop Grumman Corporation is celebrating 50 years of infrared countermeasures (IRCM) innovation and performance during the 49th International Paris Air Show.
The company dates its “50 Years of IRCM” anniversary to 1961 when a team of Northrop Grumman engineers developed the first active onboard IRCM system that defeated a Sidewinder missile. From that time, Northrop Grumman has created a litany of IRCM breakthroughs to include the development and introduction of directed infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) lamp-based systems, DIRCM laser-based systems and the Guardian™ system, specifically designed to protect commercial aircraft.
“Northrop Grumman’s IRCM systems have been saving lives for nearly five decades, and we are not about to stop now,” said Jeff Palombo, sector vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman’s Land and Self Protection Systems Division. “To be successful in this business, you have to listen to the customer and understand what their requirements are. That is exactly what we have done and what we intend to keep doing in the years ahead.”
The current, 5th generation, combat-proven system is a modular open system architecture framework that functions automatically by detecting a missile launch, determining if it is a threat and activating a high-intensity laser-based countermeasures system to track and defeat the missile. Today, Northrop Grumman still provides the most advanced infrared countermeasures protection. Its systems have been installed on over 750 aircraft representing 50 different aircraft types, including large and small fixed-wing, rotary-wing and tilt-wing platforms.

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