Lockheed Martin is set to integrate Kuwait Air Force’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornets with Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods (ATPs) to enhance targeting capabilities.
The company recently completed the first flight test of a Super Hornet integrated with Sniper ATP. The test was conducted in collaboration with the US Navy.
Initially, a flight test was conducted with a non-operational Sniper ATP at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland, US, to verify the mechanics of the system.
Subsequently, an aircraft fitted with an operational Sniper ATP conducted its maiden flight at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in California, US.
According to Lockheed Martin, both tests were successful.
The Sniper ATP will be installed on the Super Hornets’ Weapon Station 5 where pods or weapons attach.
The targeting pod is expected to be fielded with the aircraft in late 2023.
The addition will provide existing and future Super Hornet jets with precision targeting and surveillance capabilities.
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control Fixed Wing Sensor Program director Kenen Nelson said: “Integrating Sniper ATP onto Weapon Station 5, commonly known as the ‘cheek station,’ brings state-of-the-art tracking algorithms, two-way-data-link, and many other capabilities to the Kuwait F/A-18E/F crews that will positively impact the overall success of their missions.
“This also means that all F/A-18E/F customers will have the option of a reliable, easily maintainable and modern targeting pod.”
Currently, there are 15 types of aircraft that operate with the platform-agnostic Sniper ATP.
Boeing program manager of Kuwait F/A-18 program Jessica Idleman said: “The Sniper ATP provides an additional tool in the already robust Kuwait F/A-18 Super Hornet package.
“The Super Hornet provides the warfighter with enhanced situational awareness and Sniper ATP is an important part of our technology insertion plan and future growth of the platform.”
Earlier this month, the US Air Force (USAF) opened a new F-16 production line at Lockheed Martin’s facility in Greenville, South Carolina, US.