Boeing has been awarded a contract to deliver a lightweight and integrated laser targeting solution to the US Air Force (USAF).
Valued at $3m, the contract covers design, development, delivery, training and sustainment for the Line of Sight – Short (LOS-S) integrated targeting system, to help enhance the battlefield effectiveness of airmen during close air support (CAS) operations.
The contract also features priced options for production systems, which if exercised, will bring the maximum potential value to more than $100m.
Boeing subsidiary Argon ST general manager and Tactical Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance director Mike Hettmann said the company aims to deliver complete command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) solutions, which can address the air force’s requirements for actionable information.
"LOS-S provides the air force [with] intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting in one easy-to-use, lightweight, hand-held device," Hettmann added.
The lightweight integrated designator / ranger / marker sensor is designed to improve dismounted operators’ targeting effectiveness at ranges of up to three kilometres in the battlefield.
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Besides enhancing an operator’s target recognition, laser designation and friendly-fire avoidance capabilities, the device is also scheduled to replace the existing three separate targeting devices, eventually reducing the weight from 35lb to less than eight pounds, according to SoldierMod.com.
The device is expected to be used by combat controllers during a wide range of operations, including air traffic control, air to ground terminal control, voice and data communications, as well as for range finding and determining target locations worldwide.
LOS-S project forms part of the Air Force Special Operations Command’s Battlefield Airmen Operations (BAO) Kit programme, which aims to upgrade the existing equipment suite in five areas, including communications, computers, human input / output, power generation and management and software.
Image: US Special Operations Command personnel using a portable laser designator in Afghanistan. Photo courtesy of United States Special Operations Command.