Northrop Grumman has received a US Air Force contract to provide Litening SE advanced targeting pods as part of the advanced targeting pod – sensor enhancement (ATP-SE) programme.

The initial order, valued at $25m, will include flight testing of the targeting systems on air force F-16 blocks 40/50, air national guard and air force reserve F-16 blocks 25/30/32 and A-10C aircraft.

The contract will also include a potential order for 250 targeting pods plus spares, training and logistics support.

The Litening SE is a pylon-mounted targeting pod capable of producing infrared and visible imagery of both ground and airborne targets.

The pod is equipped with a plug-and-play (PnP) IIITM digital two-way and data link LRU.

The pod provides laser ranging and designation in support of weapon delivery, navigational functions, and recording and data-linking of generated imagery and data.

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Northrop Grumman is expected to receive $920m of the entire $2.3bn award for the purchase of 670 pods until 2017.