The intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities of a Sniper advanced targeting pod (ATP) built by Lockheed Martin have been demonstrated at the Empire Challenge exercise 2009.

During the joint military exercise, the US Air Force crews flew the pod on an F-16 to evaluate proposed ISR solutions for warfighter requirements.

The Sniper ATP, built by Lockheed, demonstrated autonomous reconnaissance and data collection to provide a battlefield picture for intelligence operations.

The Sniper ATP is equipped with enhanced algorithms, a digital data recorder and a high-definition sensor. The targeting pod’s video downlink relays high-resolution streaming video to forward-deployed forces for non-traditional ISR and rapid target coordination.

The pod also provides long-range positive identification of moving and stationary air and ground targets, as well as real-time targeting for advanced laser-guided weapons.

Lockheed Martin missiles and fire control fixed-wing programme director Ken Fuhr said that to better serve the warfighter, Lockheed is expanding the pod’s role as an ISR tool.

“Empire Challenge provided an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the pod’s capability in support of improvised explosive device search, convoy support and armed overwatch,” Fuhr said.

The US Air Force uses the sniper pods in current combat operations and is actively deployed on five different US and coalition platforms.