Kuwait Air Force’s F/A-18C/D Hornet aircraft to feature Sniper pods


Lockheed Martin has been awarded a delivery order to equip the Kuwait Air Force's F/A-18C/D Hornet aircraft with Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods (ATP).

Granted by the US Air Force, the contract covers 14 pods, spares, support equipment and integration.

The order was added to the company's existing foreign military sales indefinite delivery and quantity contract.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control/Special Operations Forces Contractor Logistics Support Services vice-president Paul Lemmo said: "Sniper ATP provides critical targeting and non-traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support in challenging threat environments.

"By integrating Sniper ATP on its Hornet aircraft, the Kuwait Air Force continues expanding operational capabilities across its fighter fleet."

Sniper ATP has the ability to detect, identify, automatically track and laser-designate small tactical targets at long ranges.

This targeting pod also supports employment of all laser-guided and GPS-guided weapons against multiple fixed and moving targets, Lockheed said in a statement.

Deliveries under the contract are expected to begin next year.

"By integrating Sniper ATP on its Hornet aircraft, the Kuwait Air Force continues expanding operational capabilities across its fighter fleet."

The company was contracted to equip the Kuwait Air Force’s Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft last year with Sniper ATP.

Lockheed said that Sniper was recently upgraded to include two-colour laser spot tracking and Global Scope software/advanced non-traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (NTISR) modes.

The pod, which provides superior air-to-ground and air-to-air targeting capability, is also used on Canada's CF-18 and on multinational F-15, F-16, A-10, B-1, B-52 and F-2 aircraft, according to the company.

Lockheed Martin is also conducting Sniper ATP flight tests on the US Navy's Super Hornet.


Image: The Sniper ATP provides enhanced target identification for aircrew, allowing them to detect and analyse targets on the ground via real-time imagery. Photo: courtesy of Staff Sergeant Darnell Cannady.