Leonardo Aircraft and Lockheed Martin have signed a contract to equip the Kuwait Air Force’s Eurofighter Typhoon with Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods (ATP).

The contract covers 18 pods, integration and logistics support for the airforce's Typhoon swing-role fighter.

Lockheed Martin missiles and fire control fixed-wing programme director Ken Fuhr said: “This contract marks the start of a successful relationship with the Eurofighter consortium to provide critical targeting capability worldwide.

“As a new Sniper ATP user, the Kuwait Air Force will see significant targeting benefits, including high-resolution imagery, advanced targeting modes, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.”

Sniper ATP has the ability to detect, identify, automatically track and laser-designate small tactical targets at long ranges.

This targeting pod also supports employment of all laser-guided and GPS-guided weapons against multiple fixed and moving targets, Lockheed said in a statement.

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"This contract marks the start of a successful relationship with the Eurofighter consortium to provide critical targeting capability worldwide."

Deliveries under the contract will begin in 2017.

Lockheed said that Sniper was recently upgraded to include two-colour laser spot tracking, Global Scope software / advanced non-traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (NTISR) modes and short-wave infrared.

The Eurofighter Typhoon is the ninth aircraft platform to be equipped with Sniper ATP, after variants of the F-15, F-16, F-18, A-10, B-1, B-52, F-2 and Harrier.

This beyond-visual-range, close air fighter aircraft with surface attack capability can fly at sustained speeds of over Mach 1 without the use of afterburner.

Image: A Eurofighter Typhoon swing-role fighter as seen from below. Photo: courtesy of Ronnie Macdonald.