May 14, 2007 (by Lieven Dewitte) - The U.S. government has awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin for 18 Sniper(R) Advanced Targeting Pods (ATP), a part of the new Advanced block 52 F-16 aircraft program for Pakistan.
U.S. Air Force F-16CJ Block 50 equipped with a Sniper advanced targeting pod. [Photo by LMTAS
is the eighth international customer to join the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard flying with Sniper ATP
. The contract includes spares and training services. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
"This sale culminates a two year combined effort by Lockheed Martin's Missiles and Fire Control and Aeronautics businesses to upgrade the precision attack capability of one of our key allies," said Ken Fuhr, director of Fixed Wing Targeting Programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "Sniper continues to demonstrate exceptional performance in meeting the requirements and expectations of the Warfighter."
With deliveries beginning in 2008, the Pakistan Air Force will benefit from Sniper ATP's exceptional stability and superior imagery, allowing aircrews to perform intelligence, targeting, surveillance and reconnaissance missions from extended standoff ranges.
The Pakistan Air Force joins the U.K. Ministry of Defence; the Canadian Forces, the Royal Norwegian
Air Force; the Polish Air and Air Defense Force; the Royal Air Force of Oman
; the Belgium
Defence; and other international customers with its selection of the Sniper ATP.
Sniper ATP is currently flying on the U.S. Air Force and multinational F- 15s, F-16s, F-18s, A-10s, B-1s and the Harrier GR9. Sniper ATPs have accumulated tens of thousands of flight hours in thousands of sorties in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
Sniper incorporates a high-resolution, mid-wave third-generation forward- looking infrared (FLIR
), a dual-mode laser permitting eye-safe operation in urban environments, a CCD-TV along with a laser spot tracker and a laser marker. Sniper is fully compatible with the latest J-series munitions and precision-guided weaponry. Its superior detection ranges are vital to pilots, helping keep them out of range of threat air defenses.