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NGC To Equip Expeditionary F-18s With LITENING AT Targeting Systems

LITENING AT is a self-contained, multisensor laser target-designating and navigation system and the pods are equipped with the new data link "plug-and-play" technology that enables them to accept a variety of data links without any modification to the pod or aircraft.

Rolling Meadows IL (SPX) Aug 15, 2005
Northrop Grumman has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Marine Corps to begin outfitting their F/A-18 Hornet aircraft with LITENING AT pods and pylons.

LITENING AT is a self-contained, multisensor laser target-designating and navigation system and the pods are equipped with the new data link "plug-and-play" technology that enables them to accept a variety of data links without any modification to the pod or aircraft.

The $40 million contract calls for the delivery of 24 pods and associated mounting pylons and spares beginning immediately and continuing through early 2006.

The LITENING AT pods being supplied to the Marine Corps will be "left handed," or designed to be installed on pylon station four, the same location that the current pods are installed on F/A-18C/Ds.

"The Marine Hornets have been flying in combat operations for the past year with LITENING AT pods borrowed from AV-8B squadrons, but now they will have their own dedicated pods specifically designed for station four employment," said Mike Lennon, vice president of targeting and surveillance programs at Northrop Grumman's Defensive Systems Division.

"We're excited about LITENING AT becoming the program of choice for the Corps' expeditionary F/A-18s. The Marines opted to buy LITENING AT because it is best suited to their mission and is readily available. Our system will provide the Hornet with a much-needed advanced targeting and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability that will ensure that Marines aviation stays on the cutting edge of sensor technology."

Over the last decade, Northrop Grumman has pioneered such advanced targeting technologies as precisely aligned and stable multiple sensors; coordinated air-to-ground and air-to-air operations capabilities through laser spot search and track and laser markers; J-series weapons employment capabilities; and data links for battlefield situational awareness.

Also, LITENING AT's innovative modular design provides true two-level maintenance and unsurpassed operational availability.

To date, a total of 360 LITENING AT pods have been ordered by U.S. forces and foreign military services. LITENING AT and its predecessors, LITENING II and LITENING ER, are currently operational on AV-8Bs flown by the Marine Corps and the Italian and Spanish navies, as well as on A-10s, B-52s, F-15Es and F-16s flown by active-duty and reserve components of the U.S. Air Force.

Together, all variants of the LITENING AT pod have amassed approximately 350,000 flight hours, with more than 125,000 of these hours posted in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

LITENING AT is a self-contained, multisensor laser target-designating and navigation system that enables aircrews to detect, acquire, track and identify ground targets for highly accurate delivery of both conventional and precision-guided weapons.

LITENING AT features advanced image processing for target identification and coordinate generation; a 640 x 512 pixel forward-looking infrared sensor; charge-coupled device television sensors; a laser spot tracker; an infrared laser marker; an infrared laser designator/range finder; and a data link transmitter.

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Future Combat Systems (FCS) Successfully Completes Major Program Milestone
St Louis MO (SPX) Aug 15, 2005
Boeing and partner Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), acting as Lead Systems Integrator (LSI) for the U.S. Army's Future Combat Systems (FCS) program, has announced the successful completion of the System of Systems Functional Review, the program's most important technical milestone to date.







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