France’s DGA defense procurement agency has awarded Thales a €119 million ($162 million) contract to develop a new laser designation pod for French air force Dassault Rafale and Mirage 2000D fighters, Thales announced in January. The development contract follows a risk reduction phase the government awarded Thales (Booth F23) in late 2012.
Throughout Operation Unified Protector, NATO spokespersons insisted that the alliance had remained faithful to the UN resolution 1973 by not deploying any troops inside Libya.
Northrop Grumman’s defensive systems division has delivered the first of a new generation of Plug and Play II video datalinks for use with the Litening AT and Litening G4 targeting pods.
France is buying the Lockheed Martin Hellfire II missile system to give its 40 Tiger HAD (Hélicoptère d’Appui Destruction) helicopters a versatile precision attack capability. The purchase is being handled under U.S. Foreign Military Sales and will be complete by 2012. Eurocopter has already begun integration of the Hellfire II on to the Tiger HAD version, working under contract to the European Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation.
With its ASQ-228 ATFLIR (advanced targeting forward-looking infrared pod) in full-rate production for the U.S. Navy, and in daily use over Iraq, Raytheon is building upon the pod’s outstanding long-range performance to expand its repertoire, both in operational roles and capabilities.
Just as those responsible for fighting wars now talk in terms of “effects”–as opposed to material assets–when discussing battle management and the equipment available to them, so defense contractors increasingly talk about “solutions” rather than products.
In past decades better and more accurate weapons served as the generally accepted solution to increasing the effectiveness of an attack aircraft. More recently electro-optical (EO) targeting systems have made those weapons all the more lethal.