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
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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