The Lockheed Martin-led A-10 Prime Team has delivered a new weapons delivery
system to the U.S. Air Force's A-10C flight-test program. Called the Digital
Stores Management System (DSMS), the new system is integrated with the Sniper XR
and LITENING targeting pods to give the aircraft a 'smart' weapons capability
for its close air support role.
The new system automates many of the weapons control functions that A-10 pilots
today perform manually. Integrated with either targeting pod, the DSMS will
vastly improve an A-10 pilot's ability to identify targets, and provide laser
guidance of precision air-to-ground weapons.
The U.S. Air Force has designated the Joint Direct Attack Munitions and the Wind
Corrected Munitions Dispenser guidance kits for the A-10C aircraft. Each kit
converts existing free-fall bombs into accurately guided "smart" weapons,
allowing pilots to attack from higher altitudes and in adverse weather
The Prime Team delivered the latest DSMS software to U.S. Air Force flight test
as scheduled. The Air Force has been conducting flight-testing of the A-10C at
Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, and at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, since early
2005. Deployments of A-10C aircraft to operational squadrons will begin in early
The DSMS weapons capability is the latest in a series of upgrades delivered by
the Prime Team for the A-10 Precision Engagement (PE) program. PE includes a new
cockpit instrument panel with two 5x5-inches multi-function color displays, a
new stick grip and right throttle to provide true hands-on-throttle and-stick (HOTAS)
fingertip control of aircraft systems, and six weapons pylons upgraded to
precision weapons-capability. Lockheed Martin is delivering the cockpit hardware
as kits to the Air Force for installation by the depot at Hill Air Force Base,
Using the HOTAS, the pilot can designate the targeting pod to monitor an area of
interest, confirm target identification, and provide laser guidance to the
weapon, whether from the same aircraft or another airborne platform.
Integration of the targeting pods and DSMS took place in Lockheed Martin's
state-of-the-art A-10 Systems Integration Lab (SIL) in Owego, NY, where A-10
pilots validated and refined the mechanization of the upgrade before official
release of the software to ground and flight test.
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