Northrop Grumman to provide new LITENING pods and upgrades

23 September 2019 (Last Updated September 23rd, 2019 12:22)

Northrop Grumman has received a $141m task order from the US Air Force (USAF) to provide LITENING advanced targeting pods and upgrades.

Northrop Grumman to provide new LITENING pods and upgrades
Northrop Grumman’s LITENING advanced targeting pod includes a suite of advanced sensors and data link options for a wide range of targeting and surveillance missions. Credit: Northrop Grumman Corporation.

Northrop Grumman has received a $141m task order from the US Air Force (USAF) to provide LITENING advanced targeting pods and upgrades.

The upgrades under the indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract aim to update existing LITENING targeting pods to the latest configuration.

Northrop Grumman land and avionics C4ISR vice-president Brent Toland said: “LITENING was designed for, and has provided, an affordable and rapid upgrade path to our users.

“This task order demonstrates the enduring value and performance LITENING provides customers in integrating relevant mission capabilities.”

The LITENING pod consists of high-definition video, laser imaging sensors, 1K FLIR sensors and multiple plug-and-play data link options, advanced image processing and digital video output.

These features provide superior imagery to allow identification of targets in different battlefield conditions.

Users of the pod include the US Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, Marine Corps and international customers.

The AN/AAQ-28(V) LITENING is designed for integration onto a range of platforms, including A-10, AV-8B, C-130, B-52, F-15, F-16, F/A-18 and MQ-9.

The multi-sensor targeting and surveillance system provides aircrews with the ability to detect, acquire, auto-track and identify long-range targets.

According to Northrop Grumman’s website, more than 500 LITENING G4 pods have been delivered to customers. LITENING G4 is the latest configuration authorised for export to Nato nations.

The fourth-generation LITENING pod was fielded in 2012 and achieved a milestone of one million flight hours in February.

In January, the company won a $1.bn IDIQ award from the USAF for LITENING advanced targeting pod sustainment, production, software and upgrades.