The US Air Force’s (USAF) Air Combat Command (ACC) has announced that its latest sensor pod on the F-15C Eagle has reached initial operating capability (IOC).

The infrared search and track (IRST) pod, known as the Legion Pod, is a sensor system that leverages infrared spectrum to help pilots to track enemy aircraft in radar-denied environments.

The Lockheed Martin-developed pod also enables the pilots to identify and monitor enemy aircraft from extended ranges.

According to a statement, Legion Pod will bolster the effectiveness of the F-15C aircraft in battlespace.

ACC F-15 requirements branch chief Major Daniel Hermanski said: “In today’s warfighting environment, not only do we have the capability and technology to jam and counter radar, but our enemies do, too.

“This pod is the next step for countering jamming technology and allowing our warfighters to fight and track the enemy in contested environments.”

The Legion Pod can also accommodate additional sensors, a feature that allows the integration of new capabilities with minimal aircraft modifications. The pod can also be integrated with other fighter aircraft such as the F-16 and F-15EX.

ACC F-15C program element monitor Todd Mathes said: “It’s a game-changer. The capabilities this pod provides are critical to the way we provide combat power and keep us at the leading edge of the fight.”

The Legion Pod is expected to achieve full operational capability later this year with remaining systems being delivered to tactical F-15C squadrons.

Last month, two Legion Pods-equipped GA-ASI Avenger uncrewed aircraft systems (UASs) performed a two-hour flight demonstration over the southern Californian desert.