The Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Command Test Center (AATC) has recommended full fielding for Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) LITENING G4 Advanced Targeting Pod to equip F-16 C/D Block 25/30/32 aircraft. The recommendation follows the successful completion of an operational utility evaluation (OUE) for the targeting pod system.
The AATC executed the evaluation with the support of the 177th Fighter Wing, Atlantic City, N.J. LITENING G4 flew 530 sorties and accumulated more than 825 flight hours during this evaluation, conducted between September 2010 and May 2011. The OUE verified that LITENING G4 is suitable and effective for the F-16 Block 30 mission areas.
The LITENING G4 Advanced Targeting Pod is the newest addition to the company's LITENING family of targeting pods, delivering the latest advancements in sensor, laser imaging and data link technology. G4's technologies include full 1Kx1K forward looking infrared (FLIR), 1Kx1K charge-coupled device and short wave infrared (SWIR) laser imaging sensors, color symbology, tracker improvement and enhanced zoom. These advancements deliver more accurate target identification and location at longer ranges than previous generations of LITENING targeting pod systems while reducing pilot workload.
According to the fielding recommendation issued by AATC to Air Combat Command, "LITENING G4 provides a significant improvement in F-16 Block 30 mission area execution over baseline targeting pods. The addition of a short wave infrared sensor provides a unique capability to capture images in shadows where FLIR or CCD were ineffective."
"Our customer's acknowledgment that LITENING G4 delivers the technological leap in capability that it was designed to provide is an example of the affordable innovation we have delivered in our decade of supporting the warfighter," said Jim Mocarski, vice president of Electro Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) Targeting Systems at Northrop Grumman. "The demonstrated utility of the G4's SWIR laser imaging is particularly exciting. We're confident that our warfighters will continue to find innovative ways to use this one-of-a-kind capability."
Maj. Evans Boeve, Targeting Pod program manager with AATC added, "We at AATC are thrilled to recommend the official fielding of LITENING G4 to the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve F-16 units nationwide. G4 pods will soon work their way into training and combat operations around the globe; the pilots will find these pods to be a quantum leap forward in our ability to locate, track and engage the enemy."
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