Northrop Modifies Litening Pod to Establish Data/Video Link

Released on Monday, January 6, 2003
United States of America
AV-8B Harrier II
F-16A Fighting Falcon
AFRC - Air Force Reserve Command
ANG - Air National Guard
CCD-TV - Charge-Coupled Device Television
COTS - Commercial Off-The-Shelf
UAV - Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
USMC - United States Marine Corps
Northrop-Grumman Electronics Systems sector has successfully modified a Litening ER (Extended Range) targeting and navigation pod to enable a data link between an aircraft and a ground control station.

The items involved in this testing were a USMC AV-8B Harrier II and the ground control station used for the Pioneer UAV. Evaluation flights were conducted at USMC Air Station in Yuma, Arizona.

Cockpit imagery from the pod was successfully relayed to the Pioneer ground control station.

Modifications to the Litening ER involved mounting a government-furnished equipment data/video link transmitter compatible with the Pioneer UAV system in the pod. The Litening ER also mounted a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) transmit antenna. The modification took less than a month to complete and had no adverse effect on the functioning of the pod.

Litening ER is a self-contained, multisensor laser target designation and navigation system that enables fighter pilots to detect, acquire, track and identify ground targets for delivery of conventional an guided-precision weapons. Litening ER features include a 640x512 pixel forward looking infrared camera, CCD-TV, laser spot tracker/range finder, infrared marker and laser designator.

Now the Litening pod is in service on USMC AV-8Bs, ANG (Air National Guard) and AFRC (Air Force Reserve Command) F-16s, Italian and Spanish AV-8Bs.


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