Lockheed Martin Sniper XR Advanced Targeting Pod Flies on U.S. Navy F/A-18

Lockheed Martin's Sniper(R) XR(TM) advanced targeting pod is now flying on U.S. Navy F/A-18 aircraft at the China Lake Naval Air Warfare Center in California. The flight tests are in support of ongoing targeting pod competitions in Australia and Canada, and potential future requirements of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.

Sniper XR's full capabilities are currently being demonstrated on the left shoulder station of the F/A-18 A-D aircraft via the legacy NITE Hawk interfaces. In day and night operations, Sniper XR's extended range target acquisition, target identification, combat laser, training laser and electro- optic and IR sensors are being tested in both air-to-ground and air-to-air scenarios. Software integration and safety of flight certification were completed at China Lake prior to flight test.

Sniper XR successfully performs all traditional targeting pod functions, as well as capabilities not available in current U.S. Navy pods such as laser marker, digital data recorder, combat ID and multi-target air-to-air tracking.

"The beauty of our system design is that Sniper XR fits within the envelope of the previous targeting system (NITE Hawk) and the pod software automatically detects the type of aircraft," said Ken Fuhr, Sniper XR program director. "This allows a single pod software load to work on all aircraft types. For instance, the U.S. Air Force can download a pod from an F-16 and load it onto an F-15 or A-10 without having to change the pod software. We are offering the same capability for moving pods between F/A-18C/Ds and F/A-18 E/Fs."

The U.S. Air Force is purchasing Sniper XR pods for Air Force and Air National Guard F-16 Block 30, 40 and 50 aircraft, as well as the F-15E, and potentially the A-10 fleets. The U.S. Air Force is also evaluating Sniper XR to fulfill targeting requirements for the B-1 and B-52 aircraft.

Sniper XR incorporates a high-resolution, mid-wave third generation Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR), a dual-mode laser and a CCD-TV along with a laser spot tracker and a laser marker. Designed as an affordable precision targeting system in a single, lightweight pod, Sniper XR is fully compatible with the latest J-series munitions and precision guided weaponry.

Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, Lockheed Martin employs about 130,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services.

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SOURCE: Lockheed Martin

CONTACT: Jennifer Allen of Lockheed Martin, +1-407-356-5351, or