Northrop Grumman Corp. has been awarded $238 million from the U.S. Air Force to supply a laser-based system to defend against heat-seeking missiles. The Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasure (LAIRCM) system can automatically detect a missile launch, determine if it is a threat, and activate a high-intensity laser to track and shoot down the missile. Under the contract, Northrop Grumman will deliver transmitters, missile warning sensors, processors, lasers, control interface units and supporting equipment to the Air Force through April 2016. The company said its IR countermeasures systems are installed or scheduled for installation on 54 types of large fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft. For more information, visit www.northropgrumman.com.