Boeing has awarded two contracts to Lockheed Martin for the development and production of Legion Pod for use on the US Air Force’s (USAF) F-15 Eagle tactical fighter aircraft fleet.
The two awards include a 28-month engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) contract and a low-rate initial production contract to manufacture 19 Legion Pod systems.
Under the EMD award, Lockheed Martin will be responsible for the integration, testing and qualification of the new system for the entire F-15C fleet.
The first EMD Legion Pod units will be available for use by the USAF in early next year.
Lockheed Martin missiles and fire control sensors and global sustainment vice-president Michael Williamson said: “With a fully integrated Legion Pod on the F-15 Eagle, the USAF will have a revolutionary capability to counter the most potent threat.
“Concurrent integration and production is a testament to both Legion Pod’s maturity and proven advanced capability that is urgently needed in the field.”
The first production and spares’ deliveries of the system are slated to commence in 2020 and will help support the airforce’s initial operational capability and fielding.
In September, Lockheed’s Legion Pod was selected as the infrared search and track (IRST) system for the USAF’s F-15C aircraft fleet. Under the deal, the company is committed to manufacturing more than 130 systems to be delivered for aircraft integration.
In the future, the company intends to expand the use of the targeting and sensing technology for other airborne platforms such as the F-15E and F-16 aircraft, as well as unmanned aerial systems.
The system is equipped with Lockheed Martin’s IRST21 sensor, networking and advanced processing technology, which are used to offer high-fidelity detection and tracking of air-to-air targets in radar-denied environments.