LAIRCM
Michael Hunt, electronics technician, downloads information on a processor that is already part of Robins workload. Northrop Grumman Technical Services (NGTS) was recently awarded a $485 million contract to repair the Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) System. (U. S. Air Force photo/ Sue Sapp)
LAIRCM repairs awarded to base contractor



by Alan Coonce
Communications-Electronics Commodity Council


8/17/2012 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- The 638th Supply Chain Management Group recently awarded a five-year, $463 million contract to Northrop Grumman Technical Services to repair the Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures System here.

The system is used on the C-5, C-17, C-130 and several other large fixed and rotary wing aircraft. The LAIRCM system is a complex, but highly-effective missile threat detection and countermeasures system used by the Air Force, Navy, foreign allies, and several federal agencies.

Bonnie Jones, 638th Supply Chain Management Group director, emphasized the importance of the contract.

"Without it, commanders must accept substantial risks to their personnel and equipment as well as mission accomplishment," she said. "We in the 638th are very proud of our supply chain management contributions to the military efforts overseas. We ensure reliable support is available for LAIRCM to help keep our warfighters safe and accomplish their mission."

An Integrated Process Team, headed by the Communications-Electronics Commodity Council, effectively partnered with NGTS and the 402nd Maintenance Wing Business Office to accomplish the effort. The result was a rapid deployment of the repair contract to meet growing user needs, more workload for the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex, and a significant reduction in system life cycle costs.

Creation of a long-term contract was especially challenging because of the significant growth of the LAIRCM system.

"Interest in the LAIRCM system remains high," said Col. Shawn Shanley, LAIRCM system program manager. "Modification lines, including one at Robins, keep busy with hundreds of LAIRCM installations remaining. Such growth is a testament to the LAIRCM system's performance in the field and the excellent support provided by the men and women of Robins and the surrounding community."

For the first time, LAIRCM will now be supported by an innovative and long-term, enterprise scope repair contract. In the past, each of the users negotiated their own contracts, which resulted in duplication of management costs and non-standard repair costs. The new contract reduces administrative workload, enhances and stabilizes repair coverage and improves system availability. In short, the contract provides a best value for the system's wide spectrum of customers.

Brig. Gen. Cedric George, Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex commander, said LAIRCM's importance is critical; it's proven protection against missile threats. He was especially complimentary to the IPT for their early and continuing collaboration. He emphasized that government partnership with industry provides a successful environment for both parties.

He also hailed the contract as a powerful facilitator for further partnership growth, noting that the contract is also a giant step forward in bringing additional LAIRCM workload into the WR-ALC, and enhancing existing and developing new capabilities.

He cautioned that the work is not finished and the warfighter absolutely depends on how well the contract is executed. He exhorted the IPT to complete the work by ensuring the warfighter gets the assets he needs to accomplish the mission.