Sniper Pod Takes B-1 to Next Level

23 March 2009 (Last Updated March 23rd, 2009 18:30)

One of the most versatile aircraft in the US Air Force arsenal, the B-1 Lancer is now even more lethal thanks to a state of the art sensor place on the planes underbelly. The sniper advanced targeting pod (ATP), enables the B-1's aircrew to see the battlefield more clearly using both i

One of the most versatile aircraft in the US Air Force arsenal, the B-1 Lancer is now even more lethal thanks to a state of the art sensor place on the planes underbelly.

The sniper advanced targeting pod (ATP), enables the B-1's aircrew to see the battlefield more clearly using both infrared and television sensors. This gives them the capability to positively identify targets without additional aids such as other aircraft or ground personnel and allows the operator to see behind the aircraft for a 360° view.

The Sniper ATP allows aircrews to detect and identify tactical-size targets outside threat, as well as outside jet noise ranges for urban counter-insurgency operations. The pod also offers a three to five times increase in detection range over the low-altitude navigation and targeting infrared for night (LANTIRN) system.

Commander of the 34th Bomb Squadron, Lt. Col. Kevin Kennedy said that the capability would allow near real-time feedback for theatre commanders.

"Instead of relying on radar to identify a target, aircrew and commanders can have eyes on the target, allowing them to know for sure the target being fired upon is the correct one," said Kennedy.

For ease of maintenance, the Sniper ATP has a revolutionary optical bed design, optimal partitioning and diagnostic capabilities that permit true two-level maintenance, eliminating costly intermediate-level support. An automated built-in test permits a maintainer to isolate and replace parts in under 20 minutes to get the pod operational.

By Daniel Garrun.