The U.S. Air Force today announced Lockheed Martin's Sniper XR (eXtended Range) system as the winner of its Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP) competition. This 7-year contract with potential value in excess of $843 million marks the first deployment of 3rd generation targeting pods for the U.S. Air Force. The contract provides for up to 522 pods and associated equipment, spares, and support of the F-16 for both the Air Force and the Air National Guard. Sniper XR pods will initially equip the U.S. Air Force's F-16CJ Block 50 aircraft and the Air National Guard's F-16 Block 30 aircraft. Follow-on acquisitions are destined for the F-16 Block 40 and F-15E fleets, as well as many interested international customers, bringing product potential to several billion dollars. The scheduled contract delivery date is January 2003.
"This is wonderful news for the U.S. Air Force and for Lockheed Martin," said Stan Arthur, president, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Orlando. "Winning the Advanced Targeting Pod competition is a real tribute to our outstanding ATP team. They are determined to continue our tradition of providing pilots and maintainers with the most capable and maintainable targeting systems in the world. The choice of Sniper XR ensures the Air Force will have the world's longest range targeting pod to meet the challenges of the precision attack mission. The win solidifies our continued position as the world leader in electro-optical targeting systems."
Sniper XR's winning design is the result of Lockheed Martin's production of over 4,000 heritage electro-optical/infrared systems and over four decades of experience in electro-optical and forward looking infrared design. Incorporating the latest in technology, Sniper represents a quantum jump in precision strike capabilities for the U.S. Air Force.
"Sniper's superior stability, combined with advanced image processing algorithms, provides unequaled target detection and identification, and maximizes standoff range for our aircrews," stated Mike Donovan, vice president, Fire Control and Sensors. Equally important, Donovan emphasized Sniper's low life-cycle cost and outstanding reliability. "Sniper's modular design ensures true two-level maintenance, eliminates intermediate level support, reduces manpower, and minimizes maintenance training requirements.
All of this has the dual effects of reducing support costs and streamlining flightline procedures for the crew-chiefs and avionics technicians."
Sniper XR's outstanding performance is the result of a superior optical bed design combined with advanced image processing algorithms. Demonstrating exceptional stability and pointing accuracy in U.S. Air Force flight tests, Sniper performed very well throughout the entire F-16 flight envelope, including the supersonic region. Dan Fischoff, Lockheed Martin program director, summarized Sniper's performance as "state-of-the-art." "Absolutely no other targeting system can match Sniper's performance, capabilities, and features. Everybody is a winner with this pod -- the warfighters, the crews, the maintainers and the taxpayers -- Sniper is the best value by any measure of merit."
A precision targeting system in a single, lightweight, affordable pod, Sniper XR is designed for current and future fighter aircraft. Incorporating a high-resolution, mid-wave 3rd generation FLIR, a dual-mode laser and a CCD- TV along with a laser spot tracker and a laser marker, Sniper vastly improves target detection/identification. The advanced image processing algorithms, combined with rock-steady stabilization techniques, deliver three times the performance of the best systems in service today. Fully compatible with the latest standoff weaponry, Sniper provides automatic tracking and laser designation of tactical size targets via real-time imagery presented on cockpit displays. Likewise, the supersonic, low-observable design results in a substantial reduction in drag and weight. Fischoff noted, "This pod is the result a concentrated effort by Lockheed Martin to field a truly advanced targeting system. Sniper and its leap-ahead technology represent the future for the precision strike mission. The system is simple to maintain, inexpensive, and tremendously capable. And it is ready now."
An additional feature of Sniper is its aircraft compatibility. Fully capable of being embedded or podded, Sniper technology is incorporated into Lockheed Martin's Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) design. The executive vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin's (JSF) program, Tom Burbage, added, "The U.S. Air Force's selection of Sniper XR for the Advanced Targeting Pod program is a real benefit to the Lockheed Martin JSF team. The JSF Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS) is highly common with Sniper, and we are pleased that the Air Force has recognized the benefits of our high- performance modular EO system for its fighter aircraft. We selected Missiles and Fire Control as a technology partner for JSF because it is the recognized leader in Electro-Optical/Infrared systems, has outstanding past performance, and designed a low cost/low risk approach."
Located in Dallas, Texas, and Orlando, Fla., Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, a world leader in electro-optics, smart munitions, advanced combat, missile, rocket and space systems, is an operating element of Lockheed Martin Systems Integration business unit based in Bethesda, Maryland. Lockheed Martin Corporation, also headquartered in Bethesda, is a global enterprise principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced-technology systems, products and services. The Corporation's core businesses are systems integration, space, aeronautics, and technology services.
For more information on Sniper XR, visit:www.sniperxr.com For information on Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, visit:www.missilesandfirecontrol.com For additional information on Lockheed Martin Corporation, visit our Web site:www.lockheedmartin.com
SOURCE: Lockheed Martin
Contact: Nettie Johnson, Lockheed Martin, +1-407-356-2211 or 5351, or