Lockheed Martin received a U.S. Air Force cost-plus contract worth approximately
$9 million to upgrade Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods (ATP) with video down link
Video down link enables simultaneous transmission of the Sniper ATP's cockpit
video to Man Pack Rover III ground-based receivers. This eye-in-the-sky
capability greatly increases Sniper ATP's close air support utility by supplying
ground troops with higher situational awareness for operations in hostile urban
Today, Sniper ATP-equipped F-16s and F-15s act as guardians for Special Forces
and allied convoys by providing silent, unseen support and identifying
suspicious activity. With the new video down link capability, the ground troops
will be able to see what the Sniper ATP sees, making their jobs easier and
shortening the time it takes to put ordnance on target.
Sniper's exceptional stability and superior imagery allow aircrews to positively
identify armed insurgents from extended standoff ranges. Combining Sniper ATP
and its new video down link capability broadens warfighters' range of options
when fulfilling traditional tactical missions and when meeting the demands of
non-traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (NT-ISR); and raid
support for ground forces.
Sniper ATPs are currently flying on the U.S. Air Force F-15E, and F-16; and are
in developmental flight test on the A-10 and being integrated on the B-1. Sniper
ATPs have accumulated over 20,000 flight hours in more than 3,000 sorties in
support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
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