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Lockheed Martin To Supply Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod For Harrier GR9 Aircraft

File photo of a Harrier GR9 aircraft.
by Staff Writers
Orlando FL (SPX) Feb 28, 2007
Lockheed Martin received a United Kingdom Ministry of Defence (MoD) contract to supply the Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP) for the Harrier GR9 aircraft to satisfy an Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR.) The selection of the Sniper ATP will allow the UK MoD to respond quickly to the UOR established by Royal Air Force (RAF) commanders in late 2006.

The Sniper ATP's advanced capabilities and interoperability between multiple platforms give commanders flexibility, and will allow the RAF Harrier to provide air cover for a broad array of coalition missions. Additionally, the Sniper ATP permits pilots to detect and identify weapon caches and individuals carrying armaments while remaining outside jet noise ranges.

"The UK MoD selected Sniper ATP for its proven combat capabilities and low-risk integration benefits," said Hugh Woods, program manager of Sniper ATP UK at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "This was the first head-to-head competition in the UK for an advanced targeting pod."

The Sniper ATP deliveries will begin in March 2007, with a full capability deployment in June 2007.

Sniper ATP's low-risk integration was demonstrated in the Rapid Technology Insertion (RTI) Program jointly funded by Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, and SELEX. This RTI resulted in a successful first flight of the Sniper ATP on the Harrier 60 days from inception of the project.

According to a Harrier test pilot, the performance of the Sniper pod on Harrier was exceptional in terms of resolution, accuracy and stability of the display. The quality of imagery and enhanced zoom facilities in both IR and TV allowed the identification of targets well beyond ranges currently possible.

The UK MoD joins the Royal Norwegian Air Force; the Polish Air and Air Defense Force; the Royal Air Force of Oman; the Belgium Defense and other international customers in selecting the Sniper ATP.

In addition to the UK MoD's Harrier GR9, Sniper ATP is currently flying on the U.S. Air Force and multinational F-15s, F-16s, A-10s and B-1s. Sniper ATPs have accumulated tens of thousands of flight hours in thousands of sorties in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

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