Northrop wins US and allied Litening targeting system maintenance contract

21 July 2013 (Last Updated July 21st, 2013 18:30)

Northrop Grumman has secured a contract for supply of support and sustainment services for the US military's Litening advanced airborne targeting and navigation system.

Litening pod

Northrop Grumman has secured a contract for the supply of support and sustainment services for the US military's Litening advanced airborne targeting and navigation system.

Under the $173m performance-based logistics (PBL) contract, the company will support the Litening targeting systems operated by the Air Combat Command (ACC), Air Force Reserves, Air National Guard (ANG), Marine Corps, and the Marine Corps Reserves.

Specific services to be provided by the company include logistics support, technical support to the field, aircrew and maintenance training, as well as depot repairs and other related services.

The company will also deliver support services to the Italian and Spanish navies.

Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems airborne tactical sensors vice-president Jim Mocarski said the contract continues the company's 15-year partnership with the US Department of Defense (DoD) in supporting the warfighters using the Litening system.

"Through this partnership, Litening has achieved greater than 97% availability and more than 650,000 combat flight hours, so warfighters know it will be ready for any mission," Mocarski said.

Manufactured initially by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems for the Israeli Air Force, Litening is a fifth-generation targeting and surveillance system designed to help aircrews in target identification and engagement during day, night and under-the-weather conditions.

"Through this partnership, Litening has achieved greater than 97% availability and more than 650,000 combat flight hours, so warfighters know it will be ready for any mission."

Along with 1K forward-looking infrared, 1K charge-coupled device sensors, wider field of view and enhanced zoom capability, the pod also features a laser designator for accurate laser-guided munitions delivery and a laser rangefinder for precise target coordinates.

In addition to US, Spanish and Italian militaries, the pods are also mounted on a range of coalition aircraft, including the Australian, Netherlands, Finnish and Portuguese air forces.

Contract services are scheduled to continue over the next five years.


Image: A Litening targeting pod mounted on a US military's F/A-18 Hornet fighter aircraft. Photo: courtesy of the US Goverment.

Defence Technology