USAF taps Boeing for upgrades on 25 more C-17 aircraft

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Boeing Co. a $31.2 million contract modification to upgrade 25 additional C-17 Globemaster IIIs with the Northrop Grumman Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures defensive system, according to the company.

The C-17 Globemaster III is a cargo aircraft manufactured by the aerospace company and used by the U.S. Air Force and the U.K.'s Royal Air Force to transport materiel, weaponry and personnel over long distances.

The system, known as LAIRCM, detects and tracks infrared-seeking missiles and then jams them by directing a high-intensity modulated laser beam at them.

The logistics support systems division of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems in St. Louis is performing the work under the C-17 Globemaster III Sustainment Partnership. In this program, Boeing is responsible for providing total system support for the aircraft, including materiel management and depot maintenance.

The contract also covers hardware installation and related labor. Boeing will perform the work at its facilities in Long Beach, Calif., and in San Antonio. The work is to be completed by March 2007.

With the contract modification, Boeing is now upgrading a total of 56 C-17s with the LAIRCM system and has already delivered 25 upgraded aircraft.

Roseanne Gerin is a staff writer for Government Computer News' sister publication, Washington Technology.

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