Early in November 2022, the U.S. State Department approved a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to the
government of Australia of 24 C-130J aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $6.35
billion. The proposed sale is intended to provide the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) with a reliable
replacement airlift capability for some of its aging cargo fleet.
To protect this valuable fleet from a variety of land-, air- and sea-based threats, and help it
perform at maximum efficiency, the deal includes a wide range of communications, navigation, and
electronic self-protection systems. The inclusion of this equipment also highlights the importance of this
technology to military planners as an indispensable tool in preserving and safe-guarding high-profile
aircraft and the crews that serve them.
The order includes 32 ALQ-251 Radio Frequency Countermeasure (RFCM) systems that provide
situational awareness and protection against electronic warfare systems and radar-guided weapons in
contested and congested electromagnetic spectrum environments. In March 2022, prime contractor
Northrop Grumman reported that the system had recently been delivered to the U.S. Special Operations
Command as part of its own AC-130J upgrade.
AAQ 24(V) Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) systems to be installed on the C-130Js
combine a missile warning system (MWS) and a laser jammer system to protect the aircraft from IR-
guided threat missiles. In December 2018, the widely distributed system was the object of an eight-year,
$3.6 billion contract award from the U.S. Air Force for service-wide production and support.
Sales under the U.S. FMS program play a significant part in the system’s worldwide ubiquity. In February
2019, the State Department approved an FMS to India of LAIRCM suites for two head-of-state 777
aircraft, for an estimated cost of $190 million. In September 2019, the State Department approved an
FMS to Qatar of two LAIRCM systems and related equipment for head-of-state aircraft.
Additional sensing capability for the Australian C-130Js will be also provided by AAR-47 missile warning systems and ALR-56 radar warning receivers . Like other systems mentioned above, the AAR-47 is often a featured item in major international arms sales. In April 2021, Northrop Grumman was awarded a contract with an FMS component for production and delivery of AAR-47 technology for the U.S. Air Force and the governments of the Czech Republic, Bahrain, Morocco, India,
Spain, Austria, and Greece.
As for the ALR-56, BAE Systems was awarded a $495 million U.S. Air Force contract in September 2019
for receiver/processors and high-band receivers in support of a digital upgrade effort for the RWR.
Forecast International’s Electronic Warfare Forecast provides coverage of self-protection and early warning systems for military platforms, both in the skies and on the surface. This service features reports on notable systems such as the Next Generation Jammer and the Eurofighter EW suite, as well as electronic intelligence gathering and radar and missile warning systems currently available or in development. An annual subscription includes 80 individual reports, most with a 10-year unit production forecast. Product comes complete with three Market Segment Analyses covering the markets for: Decoys Dispensers; Electronic Attack Systems; and Electronic Support Measures. Click here to learn more.