Lockheed Martin and Saudi Arabia-based Advanced Electronic Company (AEC) have opened a new Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod support centre in the Kingdom, marking the first hub outside the US.
The centre, which has been established in cooperation with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Economic Offset Programme, will provide sustainment support to Sniper ATP.
Lockheed Martin Saudi Arabia chief executive Alan Chinoda said: "We are proud to partner with AEC to enhance in-Kingdom technical capabilities through work performed at this centre.
"As the sustainment hub for targeting systems in the Kingdom, the Sniper ATP Expanded Repair Capability will also help ensure fleet readiness."
Location of the new centre is expected to help reduce repair times, improving fleet readiness.
AEC senior vice-president Mohammed Al-Khalifah said: "This Expanded Repair Capability centre at AEC is a result of Lockheed Martin’s recognition of AEC’s capabilities in products and services according to the highest international quality standards."
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The Sniper ATP helps in positive target identification, autonomous tracking, coordinate generation, precise weapons guidance and non-traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (NTISR) from extended standoff ranges and during day / night conditions.
The pod is equipped with a laser spot tracker to acquire other laser spots from air and ground assets, an infrared marker and a video down link to provide ground forces with enhanced situational awareness.
Currently, sniper pods are deployed on the USAF and multinational F-16, F-15, B-1, F-18, Harrier GR7/9, A-10C, B-52 and CF-18 aircraft, and have also been used during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan, respectively.