Lockheed Martin has announced that its Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP) has passed fit check on the FA-50 light combat aircraft.

Completion of the fit check marks a key milestone in the integration of the Sniper pod into the FA-50 platform.

The FA-50 platform is manufactured by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and Lockheed Martin for the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF).

Lockheed Martin is under contract with KAI to integrate Sniper ATP on the FA-50.

In a statement, Lockheed Martin said: “The fit check verified the engineering, physical connections and interfaces, as well as validated upload and download procedures of the pod.”

The company stated that the pod will undergo further tests to evaluate the electromagnetic interference, laser mask zone and aircraft transfer alignment parameters.

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All tests will conclude with a flight test. The company expects to complete the integration by August next year.

Sniper is expected to achieve full certification by the end of next year. The system is designed to serve as an interoperable targeting pod for the aircraft.

It provides pilots with high-resolution imagery for ‘precision targeting and non-traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions’.

The targeting pod, which has more than 20 customers across the globe, can detect, identify, automatically track and laser-designate small tactical targets at long ranges.

It also allows the use of laser-guided and GPS-guided weapons to counter both fixed and moving targets.

Sniper targeting pod is known for its interoperability across platforms such as F-18, B-1, F-15, F-16, B-52, A-10 and F-2.