February 21, 2000 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Northrop Grumman Corporation's Electronic Sensors and Systems Sector (ES3) has successfully completed Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E) of its LITENING II production pods at the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Test Center in Tucson, Ariz.
The Test Center received the LITENING II Precision Attack Targeting System on Feb. 1 after Qualification Test and Evaluation Tests were successfully completed at Edwards AFB
, Calif. During OT&E, the LITENING II pod was flown on an F-16 in "live" battle scenarios, including interdiction, offensive counter-air, defensive counter-air and close air support. Both day and night operations were conducted, with night missions employing night vision goggles.
LITENING II is a self-contained, self-cooled, multi-sensor laser target designating system. Features include forward-looking infrared (FLIR), charge-coupled device television and laser spot tracker/range finder sensors. The system is mechanically, electronically and aerodynamically compatible with all F-16 aircraft and requires no structural modifications to install.
A total of eight systems will be shipped to the Air National Guard (ANG) and Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) units beginning later this month to provide an initial operating capability. Ultimately, 17 ANG and four AFRC F-16 aircraft squadrons will be outfitted with this precision strike capability.
Northrop Grumman is teamed with Rafael of Israel on the Precision Attack Targeting Systems program. Under the teaming agreement, signed in 1995, Northrop Grumman acts as the prime contractor on U.S. military programs.