A specially modified version of the Lockheed Martin’s Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP) was demonstrated the ability to perform non-traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions during Empire Challenge, the recent joint forces exercise held in the USA in July 09. During the exercise, Sniper pod’s ISR capabilities demonstrated autonomous reconnaissance and data collection, providing a complete battlefield picture for intelligence operations. Directed by pre-defined or pilot-designated flight points, this capability can be used to monitor convoy routes or wide areas of interest, in addition to capturing images of infrastructure such as oil pipelines, power lines and roadways.
The specially modified Sniper pod flown on an Air Force F16 was enhanced with new algorithms, a digital data recorder and a high-definition sensor and datalink.
“We are expanding the pod’s role as an ISR tool. Empire Challenge provided an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the pod’s capability in support of improvised explosive device search, convoy support and armed overwatch” said Ken Fuhr, Fixed-Wing Program director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. He said the enhancements respond to U.S. defense officials’ call for improved ISR for convoy route reconnaissance and battlefield situational awareness.