"The Belgium Defense carefully chose Sniper, the world's most advanced targeting pod, because of long-range performance capabilities that allow aircrews to complete missions successfully outside threat ranges," said Rich Lovette, director - International Programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "We look forward to continuing our successful targeting pod relationship with Belgium Defense, which began with the LANTIRN program in 1997. We are excited to continue our partnership with Belgium Defense through its Sniper ATP program."
With deliveries beginning in 2007, the BE DEF will benefit from Sniper ATP's exceptional stability and superior imagery, which allow aircrews to positively identify armed insurgents from extended standoff ranges. The contract also includes training and support equipment. The BE DEF is the second European Air Forces (EPAF) partner to choose Sniper ATP over other targeting pods. In July 2003, the Royal Norwegian Air Force selected Sniper, and has since procured 20 pods. The BE DEF joins the Royal Norwegian Air Force, the Polish Air and Air Defense Force, the Royal Air Force of Oman and the Republic of Singapore Air Force, with the selection of the Sniper ATP.
Although the BE DEF contract dollar value remains undisclosed, the U.S. Air Force initial seven-year contract for Sniper ATP has potential value in excess of $843 million. The Sniper ATP has delivered over 125 pods and the U.S. Air Force plans to procure at least 522 Sniper ATPs.
Fully integrated and certified on the common EPAF F-16MLU configuration, Sniper ATP offers the low-risk, high-performance and support cost savings that no other system can match. Sniper ATP provides operational and support commonality advantages, much the same as the F-16 has done for its customers.
Today, Sniper ATP-equipped F-16s and F-15s act as guardians for Special Forces and allied convoys by providing silent, unseen support and scouting the route ahead. Ground troops are able to see what the Sniper ATP sees, making their jobs easier and shortening the time it takes to put ordnance on target.
Currently, Sniper ATP is flying on the U.S. Air Force and multinational F-15s, F-16s and A-10 and is being integrated on the B-1. Sniper ATPs have accumulated tens of thousands of flight hours in thousands of sorties in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.
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SOURCE: Lockheed Martin
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Web site: http://www.lockheedmartin.com/