The Air Force will upgrade its Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods with new kits from Lockheed Martin, procured in a $176.1 million contract.
The upgrade will convert the sniper pods into the ATP-SE configuration, which allows for improved sensors and targeting capability in air-to-ground, air-to-air, and maritime combat situations. This is enabled by a two-way datalink and new algorithms. A third-generation Forward-Looking Infrared, a dual-mode laser with a laser spot tracker and laser market, and a CCD-TV further add to its capabilities.
“With the purchase of new Sniper ATP-SEs and the continued conversion of Sniper ATPs to ATP-SEs, the U.S. Air Force will gain greater targeting capability and performance across its multi-platform fleet,” said Paul Lemmo, VP of Fire Control/SOF CLSS at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “Lockheed Martin’s ongoing investments and Sniper’s modular, open architecture have ensured it can address growing threats and remain the pod of choice for air forces worldwide.”
The upgrades will be installed in fielded ATPs, with deliveries of pods and upgrade kits expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Lockheed Martin’s Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod has been used in hundreds of missions in Iraq. Commissioned by the Air Force in 2001, it has been integrated into a variety of fighter aircraft such as the F-15E, A—10, and F/A-18. The pods improve a pilot’s ability to detect and stabilize the view of long-range targets. The previous generation of sniper pods were the LANTIRN, born in the 1980s; the ATP increased the range from 25,000 feet to twice that at 50,000.
(Via Defense Industry Daily)
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