Better High Definition TV, and FLIR sensors, Two-way Datalink, advanced algorythms to maintain the Sniper’s combat edge
Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) has received a $147 million contract from the U.S. Air Force for additional Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods (ATPs). The Sniper ATP supports Air Forces’ precision guided weapons such as JDAM, SDB, Paveway, Laser JDAM and Maverick missiles, and provides critical long-range, positive identification of targets and coordinates self-generated video down link (VDL) to remotely-operated, video enhancement receiver ground terminals. The company is currently developing advanced high definition TV sensors, better thermal imaging, two-way datalink to further enhance the system.
According to Ken Fuhr, director of Fixed-wing Targeting Programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control the company continuously drives new features and capabilities into the system. One of the latest introduced features is the missionized two-way data link system. Other planned improvements include a low-light-level, high-definition TV, enhanced forward-looking infrared and algorithm upgrades. Each system advancement is supplied in a single line replaceable unit design for flexible flightline upgrade capability.
Lockheed Martin has a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the Air Force Research Lab to integrate Quint Networking Technology into the Sniper pod. This will enable a two-way data link between other Sniper ATP-equipped aircraft and ground parties, dramatically shortening targeting, close air support and damage assessment timelines.
For joint force coordination, Sniper ATP has successfully demonstrated real-time, streaming video via its VDL to the Army Apache helicopter using the Video for Unmanned Aerial Systems Interoperability Teaming-2, or VUIT-2 system. To further support such cooperative engagement and ‘non traditional ISR capability, the system incorporates meta-data in every frame of video. Such data includes date/time stamp and coordinate information to further ensures accuracy throughout intelligence and command and control functions.