UAE AFAD awards contract to Lockheed for additional Sniper pods

27 February 2020 (Last Updated February 27th, 2020 10:22)

The United Arab Emirates Air Force and Air Defence (UAE AFAD) has awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin for additional Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods (ATPs) to arm the Mirage aircraft.

UAE AFAD awards contract to Lockheed for additional Sniper pods
A F-15E Strike Eagle carries the Sniper ATP as it flies during a mission. Credit: USAF.

The United Arab Emirates Air Force and Air Defence (UAE AFAD) has awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin for additional Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods (ATPs) to arm the Mirage aircraft.

Under the direct commercial sale contract, the company will also deliver spares and upgrades.

Lockheed noted that the contract marks the first integration of Sniper ATP on the aircraft.

With the deliveries of Sniper ATPs and spares, the UAE AFAD will be able to support its requirement to provide precision targeting capability for its existing fleet of Mirage 2000 multirole combat fighter.

At present, it employs Sniper ATP on its F-16 Block 60 aircraft.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control Fixed Wing Programs director Kenen Nelson said: “The additional Sniper ATPs and upgrades will enhance the UAE AFAD’s precision targeting capability.”

More than 27 international customers and the US Air Force (USAF) have selected Sniper ATP, which can detect, identify, automatically track and laser designate small tactical targets at long ranges.

Interoperable across multiple platforms, including USAF and multinational F-2, F-15, F-16, F-18, A-10, B-1, B-52, Harrier and Typhoon aircraft, Sniper ATP also supports the employment of all laser and GPS-guided weapons against multiple fixed and moving targets.

The company has delivered more than 1,450 pods worldwide. The pod also completes challenging precision targeting and non-traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (NTISR) missions.

In September 2018, Lockheed Martin received two foreign military sale delivery orders to supply Sniper ATPs for Bahrain and Taiwan.

Prior to this, in December 2017, the USAF had awarded a $961m contract to the company to upgrade the ATPs.