The US Air Force (USAF) has awarded a contract to Northrop Grumman to provide post-production support for the LITENING targeting pod programme.
Under the five-year-delivery, indefinite quantity contract, Northrop will provide LITENING targeting pods along with G4 upgrade kits and updated operational flight programmes.
The company will also provide integration and flight tests with the F-16 Block 30, F-16 Block 40/50, A-10C, F-15E, B-52 and B-1 aircraft, along with other studies and analysis.
US Air Force Precision Attack Branch lead Kristopher Peterson said that Northrop provides LITENING Block 1 and G4 pods for the Air Combat Command, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command.
Northrop Grumman LITENING programme vice-president Jim Mocarski said: "This contract will give the U.S. Air Force the latest in targeting pod technology by upgrading the fleet of LITENING pods to the G4 configuration."
"It also provides the vehicle for future upgrades that will keep them combat mission-relevant for years to come," Mocarski added.
The LITENING G4 pod is a fifth-generation targeting and surveillance system designed to deliver unsurpassed imagery using 1K forward-looking infrared (FLIR), 1K charge-coupled device (CCD) sensors, and wider field of view and enhanced zoom capability.
The pod features significant enhancements in terms of both recognition range and image quality and delivers more precise target identification and location at longer ranges for battlefield conditions as opposed to the previous generations LITENING targeting pods systems.
The LITENING Gen 4 technology and capability is also available in a kit form that enables users to upgrade their currently fielded LITENING pods to this new and advanced configuration.
The pods are also in service with the Israeli Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Netherlands Air Force, Finnish Air Force, Portuguese Air Force, US Marine Corps, and the Italian and Spanish Navies.
Image: Components of the LITENING pod together enhance the targeting system’s capability to deliver unsurpassed imagery. Photo: Northrop Grumman.