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Lockheed Martin ready to answer US Navy’s next-generation targeting pod needs with the Sniper
 
Lockheed Martin’ Sniper pod is the most widely deployed targeting system for fixed-wing aircraft in use by the U.S. Air Force, and is the targeting system of choice for 16 international air forces. With a possible US Navy requirement in the near future for next-generation target pods, Lockheed Martin feels it has the right system to answer current and future needs.
Lockheed Martin’ Sniper pod is the most widely deployed targeting system for fixed-wing aircraft in use by the U.S. Air Force, and is the targeting system of choice for 16 international air forces. With a possible US Navy requirement in the near future for next-generation target pods, Lockheed Martin feels it has the right system to answer current and future needs.
 
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Defense Industry News - USA
 
 
 
Lockheed Martin ready to answer US Navy’s next-generation targeting pod needs with the Sniper
 
Lockheed Martin’ Sniper pod is the most widely deployed targeting system for fixed-wing aircraft in use by the U.S. Air Force, and is the targeting system of choice for 16 international air forces. With a possible US Navy requirement in the near future for next-generation target pods, Lockheed Martin feels it has the right system to answer current and future needs.
     

Lockheed Martin’ Sniper pod is the most widely deployed targeting system for fixed-wing aircraft in use by the U.S. Air Force, and is the targeting system of choice for 16 international air forces. With a possible US Navy requirement in the near future for next-generation target pods, Lockheed Martin feels it has the right system to answer current and future needs.
Lockheed Martin's Sniper ATP (Advanced Targeting Pod)
Picture: Lockheed Martin

     
Building on the technology of legacy ATP pods, Sniper pods in the new ATP-SE configuration provide an even greater capability via new enhanced sensors, a two-way data link, advanced processors and automated non-traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance modes.

Navy Recognition had the opportunity to ask a few questions to Ken Fuhr, director of Fixed Wing Programs, from Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control regarding the Sniper Pod.
     

Lockheed Martin’ Sniper pod is the most widely deployed targeting system for fixed-wing aircraft in use by the U.S. Air Force, and is the targeting system of choice for 16 international air forces. With a possible US Navy requirement in the near future for next-generation target pods, Lockheed Martin feels it has the right system to answer current and future needs.
Sniper targeting pod on a Canadian Air Force CF-18 Hornet, showing that the Sniper is already compatible with F/A-18 Hornet naval fighters
Picture: Lockheed Martin

     
Xavier Vavasseur - Navy Recognition (NR): Have Sniper tests started yet with the U.S Navy and onboard which platform? Are those tests over?
Ken Fuhr, Lockheed Martin (KF): Lockheed Martin continually invests in technology innovation to meet the current and anticipated needs for our warfighters to counter any threat, including the need for a next-generation targeting forward-looking infrared (FLIR) pod for the U.S. Navy’s strike fighter fleet; no formal testing has begun. With more than 30 years’ experience of electro-optical integration and deployment on Navy platforms, including NITE Hawk on F/A-18s, LANTIRN and IRST on F-14s and Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP) on the Canadian CF-18, we believe we can meet the Navy’s future needs.

NR. What is the Initial Operational Capability for a future targeting pod with the US Navy?
KF. Because the Navy has not defined next-gen targeting FLIR requirements, initial operational capability is also undefined.

NR. On which US Navy platforms will the pod be integrated?
KF. Platforms are dependent upon the Navy’s requirements for their next-generation targeting pod, but they could include F/A-18 A-F, EA-18G, P-8A. The ease with which Sniper ATP – Sensor Enhancement (SE) has demonstrated proven plug-and-play integration and maintainability across U.S. Air Force and international platforms makes it the ideal candidate for the Navy’s next-generation targeting pod.

NR.Will there be a specific US Navy designation for it ?
KF. Sniper ATP-SE has been designed and built to comply with all U.S. Air Force and Department of Navy requirements. No unique configuration block changes are necessary to integrate on U.S. Navy fixed wing platforms; therefore, no specific designation is needed.

NR. What are the differences between an existing USAF Sniper pod and the "new" one to be used by the US Navy?
Is there a specific manufacturing process or specific parts used in the "naval" version in order to cope with the impacts generated by carrier landings?
KF. No unique changes are necessary for Sniper ATP-SE to operate within the carrier environment because we designed and built it to comply with all U.S. Air Force and Department of Navy requirements. We have a firmly established business model that focuses on continuous investment for Sniper ATP-SE to remain capable and relevant for current and emerging missions and to support new technologies, weapons and communications.

NR. Same question the EOTS of F35A compared with the EOTS found onboard the B and C models (I read information that the EOTS uses the same technology and parts as the SNIPER I hope the information is correct and relevant to the topic, if not, please ignore it)
KF. The electro-optical targeting system (EOTS) was designed to comply with requirements for all F-35 variants and does not require unique changes or additional modifications to operate.

NR. Will the next-generation pods eventually replace all LANTIRN and Litening pods in the US Navy and USMC naval aviation wings?

KF. The Department of Navy leadership defines requirements to organize, train and equip fielded forces, so they will decide what targeting pod flies on their fleet. Our decades of experience in the naval domain and Sniper ATP-SE’s superior performance over the past decade make it a viable option for the Navy’s next-generation FLIR.

NR. What extra capabilities do SNIPER brings to the US Navy compared to the two existing aforementioned pods?
KF. We’re always looking ahead to the future of targeting and continue our investment to improve performance of Sniper ATP-SE by identifying emerging needs of our warfighters. Sniper’s combat-proven capabilities provide the highest resolution imagery for precision targeting, air-to-air passive attack and non-traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (NTISR).

NR. Could the SNIPER ATP-SE be used for anti-ship missions? What would be its benefits in such role?
KF. Sniper ATP-SE is used for anti-ship missions to identify the target, and its advanced target tracker with a maritime track mode accurately acquires and tracks surface vessels. Sniper ATP-SE’s ability to accurately deliver laser-guided weapons and generate geocoordinates for precision guided munitions makes it the ideal pod for challenges associated with maritime targets as well as land targets. Several non-traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and bomb damage assessment modes are also available in conjunction with Sniper ATP-SE’s digital data recorder and two-way data link; these capabilities align with requirements for net-centric operations across all other platforms, weapons, networks and sensors as the U.S. Navy updates every type and model aircraft in the fleet.
     
The Sniper targeting pod has an impressive image quality and resolution
Video: Lockheed Martin