Lockheed Martin To Integrate Pod Onto Thunderbolt
Orlando – Feb 16, 2004
Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract to integrate the Sniper XR targeting pod on the A-10 aircraft in support of the A-10 Precision Engagement (PE) Program. The contract award follows a successful demonstration of the Sniper system during the A/OA-10 Precision Engagement upgrade program’s critical design review.
As part of the integration effort, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control will develop the Pilot Vehicle Interface (PVI), pod Operational Flight Program (OFP) software, and pod interface adapter hardware for the A-10. The pod will be integrated as part of the PE Program at Lockheed Martin Systems Integration — Owego in New York, the prime contractor for the A-10 weapon system.
Upon completion of this effort, the Sniper XR pod will self-detect and automatically load the appropriate Operational Flight Program when installed on either the A-10, F-16 or F-15E airframes. This provides a single hardware configuration that maximizes the U.S. Air Force’s flexibility for precision attack missions.
“This system gives the pilot the ability to recognize a target at four times the range of the first generation pods,” said Ken Fuhr, Sniper XR program director, in comparing the two targeting systems.
“The laser spot tracker can also use laser targeting from another aircraft to deliver a precision bomb, so two aircraft can work in tandem. They couldn’t do that with the first generation systems. The Sniper XR contract award marks a significant milestone for the A-10 Precision Engagement upgrade program. This targeting system provides the aircraft a much needed combat capability and is an important component of the A-10 weapon system upgrade.”
The A-10 is an objective platform for the U.S. Air Force Advanced Targeting Pod (Sniper XR), as identified in the ATP contract award to Lockheed Martin, and will serve as an avenue to significantly expand the Sniper XR market.
The Sniper XR is a self-contained sensor and laser designator system that allows improved target detection and identification. Among the pod’s capabilities are an infrared camera for thermal imaging and an additional camera that adjusts for daylight and low thermal contrast conditions.
Sniper XR incorporates a high-resolution, mid-wave third generation Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR), a dual-mode laser and a CCD-TV along with a laser spot tracker, an IR marker. An affordable precision targeting system in a single, lightweight pod, Sniper XR is fully compatible with the latest J- series munitions and precision guided weaponry.
The targeting pod has been successfully integrated on a variety of aircraft to include the F-15E, the F- 16 Block 30/40/50, the A-10 and the F/A-18. Sniper XR’s outstanding performance exemplifies Lockheed Martin’s continuing commitment to meeting warfighter requirements.