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First RFCM fit completed for AC-130J Ghostrider

SNC has completed the first AC-130J Ghostrider RFCM embodiment for USSOCOM. (SNC)

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has completed the first AC-130J Ghostrider Radio Frequency Countermeasures (RFCM) upgrade for the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).

The RFCM programme introduces the Northrop Grumman AN/ALQ-251 system to Special Operations Forces (SOF) AC/MC-130J aircraft to provide situational awareness and self-protection against electronic warfare systems and RF-guided threats.

SNC was in July 2020 awarded a USD700 million contract by USSOCOM for the procurement and integration of RFCM systems onto AC-130J Ghostrider and MC-130J Commando II aircraft. In a 1 March statement, the company said that the first AC-130J aircraft upgraded through the engineering and manufacturing development programme phase would be used to support developmental and operational testing.

The RFCM system, which provides threat detection, precision geolocation, and active countermeasure capabilities, is part of the defensive countermeasures suite that provides the situational awareness and threat response processing required for SOF missions. Northrop Grumman has made little public on the AN/ALQ-251 system other than to say that it is based on a modular, open systems architecture and combines radar warning, threat identification, and active countermeasure functions.

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