Lockheed Martin’s Sensor Suite Provides Combat-Proven Capabilities
An F-15SG displayed at the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Open House in 2011 is outfitted with a suite of Lockheed Martin systems: the Sniper pod, IRST sensor system and LANTIRN ER navigation pod.
Lockheed Martin’s Sniper® Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP), LANTIRN™ Extended Range (ER) navigation pod and IRST™ sensor system provide warfighters with precision targeting, enhanced navigation, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities.
Sniper ATP provides critical long-range, positive target identification, enhancing an aircrew’s ability to detect and analyze ground targets while dramatically decreasing the risks posed by enemy air defenses. The system’s stable, automatic tracking and laser designation of targets, along with a video datalink with metadata, ensure pilots can visually identify threats in day/night conditions and share imagery with ground troops.
Consistently evaluated as the best value system for targeting and ISR mission requirements, Sniper ATP is the pod of choice for the U.S. Air Force and 13 international air forces. It is fully integrated on seven combat aircraft variants, including the F-16 (Blocks 30, 40, and 50) and the F-15.
As a common system across coalition air forces, the Sniper pod is a force multiplier. Its plug-and-play capability provides seamless platform integration and ensures that coalition air forces share a common picture of the battlefield during multinational joint operations.
Sniper’s recce modes further enhance the pod’s ability to successfully perform ISR missions, digitally datalink and record imagery and data. Sniper automatically scans convoy routes and areas of interest to compile high-resolution mosaic images for intelligence analysis. An F-16 pilot participating in an Empire Challenge exercise to promote intelligence interoperability remarked that, “The higher resolution sensors significantly aid in combat identification and the ISR modes provide a new level of flexibility for both the pilot and the warfighter on the ground.”
The IRST sensor system enhances survivability and lethality in both offensive and defensive counter-air roles by enabling passive, long-range detection and track of airborne targets under normal and electronic attack environments. Critical tracking data provided by the IRST system can stand alone or be combined with other sensor data to further enhance situational awareness, giving warfighters the “see first, strike first” advantage.
The IRST sensor system can be used across numerous platforms. For the U.S. Navy F/A-18 E/F, the sensor is mounted in the centerline fuel tank. Alternative mounting locations include a transportable pod format for plug and play use across platforms, as well as an internal pylon mount for international F-15s. Advances in sensor technology and computer processing, combined with aircraft fire control data, make IRST a powerful tool for achieving air superiority.
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