The US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) is to install advanced countermeasures equipment on the US Air Force's fleet of Lockheed Martin EC-130E/J s, which are responsible for broadcasting propaganda radio and television messages in combat zones. There is an "immediate need" to install Northrop Grumman's large aircraft infrared countermeasures (LAIRCM) equipment on EC-130 Commando Solo aircraft operated by the Pennsylvania Air National Guard's 193rd Special Operations Wing, says the command. A solicitation posted on 17 August only describes a need for the unit's EC-130Js, but it is believed the requirement also extends to the EC-130E fleet.

SOCOM will formally accept its first EC-130J on 10 September. The LAIRCM laser-based directional countermeasures system will protect the aircraft from infrared-guided surface-to-air missiles. SOCOM intends to issue a request for proposal and negotiate solely with Lockheed Martin Systems Integration-Owego.

Source: Flight International