Litening III targeting pods supplied by Ultra Electronics to the RAF have successfully completed their first year of service in Iraq. Mounted on Tornado GR4 combat aircraft, the pods are fitted with a ROVER III-compatible video datalink supplied by Ultra, which also manufactured Litening III under license from Rafael.
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.
Forward Vision, a Florida company that specializes in infrared technology for aviation and marine applications, reports that it has been holding talks with a number of aircraft OEMs to gauge interest in a forward-looking infrared (FLIR) camera system that currently sells for a list price of just under $20,000.
“In today’s combat environment, the name of the game in dropping air-to-ground munitions is how to double the distance from the target from which we can drop the weapon itself–the release range–but still not experience any decrease in accuracy,” said Lockheed Martin’s John Schoeppner. “We have achieved this level of performance with our AN/AAQ-33 Sniper targeting pod, but what we feel further differentiates us from our competitors is our pod’
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.
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.
The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) is showing its top-of-the-line F-16D Block 52+ fighter for the first time at Asian Aerospace, in the static park. This two-seat aircraft is optimized for long-range and low-level strike missions, and with its various lumps and bumps, must be the ugliest F-16 version of all time. In fact, the aircraft is externally identical to the F-16I Sufa (Storm) version now operated by the Israeli Air Force.
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