Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod

Lockheed Martin has been awarded an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract by the US Air Force (USAF) to continue providing post-production support (PPS) for its Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP) fleet.

Under the seven year $841m contract, the company will provide Sniper ATP hardware and software upgrades and platform integration, including transition of legacy pods into the Advanced Targeting Pod-Sensor Enhancement (ATP-SE) configuration.

The PPS contract, expected to be awarded incrementally over a five-year period with two option years, may also include spares, technical data and studies and the support of organic depot requirements for Sniper pod sustainment.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control business Sniper ATP programme manager Ashlie Payne said the Sniper’s stable, automatic tracking and laser designation of targets, along with a video data link with metadata, ensures pilots’ ability to quickly identify threats in day or night conditions and share imagery with ground troops.

The Sniper ATP provides positive target identification, autonomous tracking, coordinate generation, precise weapons guidance and non-traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (NTISR) from extended standoff ranges and day / night conditions.

The pod features a laser spot tracker to acquire other laser spots from air and ground assets, an infrared marker visible to soldiers using night vision goggles and a video down link to provide ground forces with enhanced situational awareness.

Additional features include high-resolution, mid-wave FLIR and TV sensors, operated in conjunction with a dual-mode laser, to permit eye-safe operation and precise geo-location in urban environments.

The pods are also used by the Air National Guard (ANG) on fixed-wing aircraft for conducting long-range detection, identification and surveillance support missions.

The Sniper pod fixed aboard the Air National Guard F-15C/D fighter has also been interfaced with a Calculex MONSSTR solid state recorder, known as a Recorder Integrated processor and Router (RIPR), produced by a team comprising of Lockheed Martin, Calculex and USAF sustainment personnel.

Lockheed sniper pods are currently used on the USAF and multinational F-16, F-15, B-1, F-18, Harrier GR7/9, A-10C, B-52 and CF-18 aircraft.

Image: Sniper ATP hanging from the underbelly of a fighter jet enhances warfighter’s ability to detect and analyse ground targets. Photo: Staff Sgt. Darnell Cannady.