The Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) has awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin for the delivery of the Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP) for its Rafale multirole fighter aircraft.

The Sniper ATP will help support the growth and platform expansion for the QEAF’s precision targeting capability.

Under the deal, Lockheed Martin will be responsible for delivering pods, spares and deployment support for the airforce’s Rafale fighter jet, making it the tenth platform to fly integrated with the Sniper ATP.

The company is currently carrying out integration work of the targeting pod onboard the aircraft, with flight tests of the system currently in progress.

“Lockheed’s Sniper ATP helps detect, recognise, automatically track and laser-designate small tactical targets at long ranges.”

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control Fixed Wing Programmes director Kenen Nelson said: “Platform expansion on the Rafale aircraft is a testament to Sniper ATP’s proven performance, ease of integration and open architecture.

“We continuously invest to ensure that Sniper ATP is the most capable targeting pod available for our allies worldwide.”

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The company intends to commence deliveries of the Sniper targeting pods to the QEAF next year.

Lockheed’s Sniper ATP helps detect, recognise, automatically track and laser-designate small tactical targets at long ranges.

In addition, the system supports employment of all laser and Global Positioning System (GPS)-guided weapons against a wide range of fixed and moving targets.

To date, Sniper ATP has been integrated across several platforms, including the US Air Force’s and multinational F-2, F-15, F-16, F-18, A-10, B-1, B-52, Harrier and Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft.

It is used to carry out the most challenging precision targeting and non-traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (NTISR) missions.