Photo Credit: Korea Aerospace Industries, LTD.
Combat Aircraft One Step Closer to Getting Outfitted
Lockheed Martin’s Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP) just successfully completed ground and flight testing, clearing the way for FA-50 airworthiness certification. The tests resulted in a successful long-range guided munition hit of a designated target.
Sniper ATP provides an affordable and interoperable targeting pod solution for the FA-50, which is a light combat aircraft manufactured by Korea Aerospace Industries, LTD., in partnership with Lockheed Martin.
Passing the initial physical fit check in September 2019, this last wave of testing assessed the aircraft’s interaction with the Sniper pilot vehicle interface (PVI) and pod-specific features.
“This success opens the path for Sniper’s integration onto FA-50 platforms around the world,” said Kenen Nelson, Fixed Wing program director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “We’re proud to add the FA-50 to the long list of platforms the Sniper ATP can operate with and enhance. More than 27 domestic and international customers rely on the Sniper ATP, and it continues to be a key solution for its precision, affordability and reliability.”
The next steps are for KAI to obtain a Certification of Airworthiness (COA) to approve Sniper to fly and operate on FA-50 light fighter jets. Once certified, KAI can upgrade existing jets and build new jets in-line with this new capability in accordance with customer requirements.
Lockheed Martin and KAI are ready to begin working with countries that have FA-50 fleets and want to incorporate Sniper ATP once the Aircraft Certification Authority has approved to proceed.
The ATP product offers capability enhancements like high-resolution imagery for precision targeting and non-traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. It detects, identifies, automatically tracks and laser-designates small tactical targets at long ranges and supports employment of laser-guided and GPS-guided weapons against multiple fixed and moving targets.
Sniper ATP is the most widely deployed targeting system for fixed-wing aircraft in use by U.S. forces and is also the targeting system of choice for many international allies across multiple platforms.
It has won numerous awards, including the Secretary of Defense Performance-Based Logistics Award and the Perry Precision Strike Award.