Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: LITENING EF
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Description: The LITENING III is the latest generation of LITENING Targeting and Navigation pod developed by Rafael to meet the requirements of the Israeli Air Force and Air Forces abroad. It provides cost-effective reliable precision strike capability to every fighter jet aircraft with reduced pilot workload. Encompassing detection, recognition, identification and laser designation; a multi-mission aircraft equipped with this pod can engage either ground or maritime targets. It provides beyond visual range identification of aerial targets as well. Ease of maintenance and growth potential are other key benefits offered by the LITENING III. The third generation features laser spot detection and tracking, and long-range data and video downlink.
The LITENING III combines a third generation day/night 640x480 resolution FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared); CCD camera for daytime operation (includes narrow and wide Field-Of-View (FOV) cameras); Inertial Navigation System (INS); dual wavelength and eye safe Diode Pump Laser (DPL) designator; stabilized mount for accurate tracking during aircraft maneuvering; laser spot detector/tracker; and laser marker. To date, Rafale has successfully integrated the LITENING pod on F-15, F-16, F/A-18, A-10, B-52, F-5, F-4, AV-8B, Tornado, EF-2000/Typhoon, Mirage 2000, Jaguar, JAS 39 Gripen, AMX, Mig-21 and Su-27 aircraft.
In July 2006, the UK MoD awarded Ultra Electronics a £56 million contract for the supply of LITENING EF pods on behalf of the Royal Air Force Typhoon aircraft. The targeting pods were a variant of Rafael's LITENING III due to enter service in 2008. The contract included logistics support for 20 years with technology transfer from Rafael to Ultra allowing the British company to upgrade the pod if needed through the 20 years period. The LITENING EF pods were meant to provide British Typhoons with precision strike air-to-surface capability. Additionally, the EF variant provides a secondary ground reconnaissance and scanning capability.
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