Litening AT Targeting Pod Selected for Australian F/A-18

Released on Wednesday, September 7, 2005
F/A-18A Hornet
F/A-18B Hornet
The Royal Australian Air Force announced today that they have selected Northrop Grumman Corporation's third-generation LITENING Advanced Targeting (AT) system for its F/A-18 Hornet aircraft upgrade program.

Northrop Grumman's LITENING AT system is a self-contained, multi-sensor laser target-designating and navigation system that enables fighter pilots 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; a new 1,004 x 1,004 pixel charge-coupled device television sensors; a laser spot tracker; an infrared laser marker; infrared laser designator/range finder; and air-to-ground data links.

Under the terms of the multi-million dollar contract, Northrop Grumman will deliver 37 targeting pods and spares beginning in 2006 and completing in 2007.

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

To date, more than 400 LITENING AT pods have been ordered by US forces and foreign military services. LITENING AT and its predecessors, LITENING II and LITENING ER, are currently operational on AV-8Bs flown by the U.S. Marine Corps and the Italian and Spanish navies, and F/A-18s flown by the Marine Corps as well as on A-10s, B-52s, F-15Es and F-16s flown by active-duty and reserve components of the US 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.


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