Lockheed Martin Sniper XR

Lockheed Martin Sniper XR

The Lockheed Martin Sniper XR Advanced Targeting Pod (Sniper ATP) provides positive target identification, autonomous tracking, coordinate generation, and precise weapons guidance from extended standoff ranges. The Sniper ATP is intended for use on the F-15E Strike Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft, B-1 (Rod Pod), and UK Harrier GR9. [cite web|url=http://www.baesystems.com/Newsroom/NewsReleases/autoGen_10741183645.html|title=SNIPER CONTRACT A HIT FOR UK HARRIER] aircraft. It has also been check fitted to the CF-18 using the AN/AAS-38 NITE Hawk interface. The Sniper ATP is in service with Norway, Oman, Poland, Singapore, Canada, Belgium, Saudi-Arabia [ [http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/saudis-seek-sniper-atp-supplementation-for-f-15s-04401/#more Saudis Seek Sniper ATP Supplementation for F-15S ] ] and the UK MoD. [cite web|url=http://www.lockheedmartin.com/wms/findPage.do?dsp=fec&ci=16586&rsbci=0&fti=111&ti=0&sc=400|title=LOCKHEED MARTIN'S SNIPER XR ADVANCED TARGETING POD TEAM CHOSEN BY AVIATION WEEK & SPACE TECHNOLOGY AS 2004 LAURELS HONOREE] [cite web|url=http://www.f-16.net/news_article1730.html|title=Belgian Air Force buys eight Sniper XR targeting pods] The system has also been purchased by the Canadian Forces for installation on the CF-18 Hornet [ cite web|url=http://www.sfu.ca/casr/doc-dnd-amirs-pod.htm|title=CF-18 AMIRS Targeting Pod – the Lockheed Martin Sniper ] and in July 2007 was acquired by Pakistan, becoming the tenth country in the world to be in possession of the Sniper XR. [ [http://www.india-defence.com/reports-3193 Lockheed Martin To Supply ATP's for Pakistan Air Force F-16s - India Defence ] ] The Sniper XR contains a laser designator and tracker for guiding laser-guided bombs. The pod also features a third-generation FLIR receiver and a CCD television camera. FLIR allows observation and tracking in low light / no light situations, while the CCD camera allows the same functions during day time operations.

A team of Lockheed Martin UK, BAE Systems and SELEX GALILEO (formerly Selex S&AS) has successfully demonstrated and flown a Sniper ATP on board a Tornado GR4 combat aircraft. [ [http://www.lockheedmartin.co.uk/news/317.html Lockheed Martin uk demonstrates Sniper advanced targeting pod on board tornado gr4] ]

The U.S. Air Force initial seven-year contract for Sniper ATP has potential value in excess of $843 million. The Sniper ATP has delivered over 125 pods and the U.S. Air Force plans to procure at least 522 Sniper ATPs.

Features

The Sniper ATP is a single, lightweight pod with much lower aerodynamic drag than the legacy systems it replaces. The Sniper possesses advanced targeting technology and its image processing allows aircrews to detect and identify tactical-size targets outside threat rings for the destruction of enemy air defense mission, as well as outside jet noise ranges for urban counter-insurgency operations. It offers a 3-5 times increase in detection range over the legacy LANTIRN system. It has been successfully integrated on a variety of aircraft to include the F-15E, the F-16 Block 30/40/50, and the A-10. Sniper ATP is also being integrated on the B-1 and B-52.

The Sniper ATP incorporates a multi-spectral sensor capability with a high-resolution, mid-wave third-generation FLIR and a CCD-TV. Advanced sensors, combined with advanced image processing algorithms and rock-steady stabilization produce target identification ranges that permit operations minimizing exposure to many threat systems. The dual-mode laser offers an eye safe mode for urban combat and training operations, along with a laser-guided bomb designation laser for guiding in these precision munitions.

For target coordination with ground and air forces, a laser spot tracker, a laser marker, and a TV quality video down link to joint terminal air controllers improve rapid target detection / identification. Sniper ATP provides high-resolution imagery highly sought after for the non-traditional intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance mission. Sniper ATP is being used in Operation Iraqi Freedom on F-15Es and F-16s.

For ease of maintenance, Sniper ATP's revolutionary optical bed design, optimal partitioning, and diagnostic capabilities permit true two-level maintenance, eliminating costly intermediate-level support. Automated built-in test permits a flightline maintainer to isolate and replace an LRU in under 20 minutes to get the pod back up to full mission capable status. Spares are ordered through a user-friendly website offering in-transit visibility to parts shipment.

Background

In August 2001, the U.S. Air Force announced Lockheed Martin's Sniper as the winner of the ATP competition. The contract provides for pods and associated equipment, spares, and support of the F-16 and F-15E aircraft for the total force, active-duty Air Force and Air National Guard. Follow-on acquisitions are expected for the A-10 and B-1.

General characteristics

*Primary Function: Positive identification, automatic tracking and laser designation
*Prime Contractor: Lockheed Martin
*Length: 94 inches (239 centimeters)
*Diameter: 11.9 inches (30 centimeters)
*Weight: 440 pounds (199 kilograms)
*Aircraft: F-15E, F-16 Block 30/40/50, A-10, B-1
*Sensors: Mid-wave third generation FLIR, dual mode eye-safe, laser designator, CCD-TV, laser spot tracker and laser marker
*Date Deployed: January 2005
*Inventory: Not available.
*Competitive Device: Northrop Grumman Corporation LITENING targeting pod

ee also

*ATFLIR
*LANTIRN

References

External links

* [http://www.missilesandfirecontrol.com/our_products/combatvision/SNIPER/product-SNIPER_XR.html Lockheed Martin's Sniper XR page]
* [http://www.aviationnow.com/avnow/news/channel_awst_story.jsp?id=news/10044top.xml "Sniper Targeting Pod Attacks From Long Standoff Ranges"] , "Aviation Week & Space Technology", October 3, 2004.


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