U.S. Air Force Places $28.3 Million Third Order for Lockheed Martin's Sniper XR Targeting Pod
ORLANDO, FL, July 10th, 2002 -- The U.S. Air Force has ordered 21 more Sniper XR (eXtended Range) advanced targeting pods from Lockheed Martin. The $28.3 million order, including spares and training, marks the third buy of targeting pods for the U.S. Air Force, bringing the number of pods purchased to 44 to date. Last week, the export version of Sniper XR, PANTERA (Precision Attack Navigation and Targeting Pod), won its first customer with a $27 million sale to the Royal Norwegian Air Force.
"The U.S. Air Force's buy of additional pods demonstrates their total satisfaction in the performance and capabilities of Sniper XR and continued satisfaction in our ability to deliver a high quality product," said Dan Fischoff, Sniper XR program director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.
Currently, the Air Force is flight-testing Sniper XR on the F-16 at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., in preparation for deployment to operational units. These tests include specific mission profiles to refine aircraft/pod interface and operations. The pilot-vehicle interface is also being evaluated to ensure that employment procedures are transparent to the pilot to minimize cockpit workload.
The seven-year Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP) contract, with a potential value in excess of $843 million, provides options for up to 522 pods and associated equipment, spares, and aircraft for both the Air Force and Air National Guard.
Sniper XR pods will initially equip the U.S. Air Force's F-16CJ Block 50 aircraft and the Air National Guard's F-16 Block 30 aircraft. Follow-on acquisitions are destined for the F-16 Block 40 and F-15E fleets, as well as interested international customers, bringing market potential to several billion dollars.
Sniper XR won the ATP contract in August 2001, following a rigorous U.S. Air Force competition with the most demanding performance requirements of any targeting pod competition to date. Sniper's superior performance includes exceptional stability, long-range identification of tactical targets, outstanding image processing, and supersonic flight.
"Our focus is working with the Air Force to support the crucial need for Sniper deployment. U.S.Air Force pilots deserve the best - and that's Sniper XR," stated Mike Donovan, vice president of Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control's Combat Vision Center.
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control develops, manufactures and integrates world-class air defense, fire support, strike weapon, naval munition, combat vision, anti-armor and advanced product solutions and systems for U.S. and international armed forces.