Northrop Grumman Corporation today announced it has completed the successful
integration of new target detection, acquisition and tracking capabilities into
all 189 previously fielded U.S. LITENING pods.
The LITENING system enables fighter pilots to detect, acquire, track and
identify ground targets for highly accurate delivery of both conventional and
precision-guided weapons. The upgrade is part of a major initiative to provide
state-of-the-art FLIR and image-processing capabilities to U.S. forces flying
the AV-8B, A-10, B-52, F-15E, F-16 and F/A-18 aircraft. The company's latest
production standard is known as LITENING Advanced Targeting (AT).
The open architecture and spare volume in LITENING's design makes upgrades easy
and affordable. Northrop Grumman is continually working with the warfighters to
identify potential enhancements to LITENING to meet real-world operational
needs. LITENING-equipped forces have accumulated over 450,000 operational hours,
including over 200,000 hours supporting combat operations.
Additional upgrades to the LITENING pod include data links which are currently
being provided to multiple customers, as well as advanced sensor capabilities
currently in development. Some of these developments include extended range
identification, additional enhanced imaging techniques, and advanced networking
capabilities. These are being fielded as further enhancements in response to
As a result of the operational success experienced by LITENING users, Northrop
Grumman was recently awarded a $275 million increase to an existing indefinite
delivery/indefinite quantity (ID/IQ), firm fixed price contract, to provide
LITENING targeting pods and related training and logistics support for several
aircraft in support of the U.S. Air Force, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve
Command and Marine Corps.
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 third
generation forward-looking infrared sensor; charge-coupled device television
sensors; a laser spot tracker; an infrared laser marker; infrared laser
designator/range finder; and various data links and recorders.
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