Pave Spike

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AN/ASQ-153 Pave Spike

The Westinghouse AN/ASQ-153\AN/AVQ-23 Pave Spike is an electro-optical laser designator pod used to direct laser-guided bombs to target in daylight, visual conditions. It contained a laser boresighted to a television camera, which displayed its image on a cockpit screen.

156 examples of the original AN/ASQ-153 were used by USAF F-4 Phantom II aircraft (D and E variants) from 1974 through 1982, replacing the earlier Pave Knife. The 144-inch-long (3.66 m), 420-lb (209 kg) pod was mounted in the F-4's left forward missile well, in place of an AIM-7 Sparrow air-to-air missile.

In 1979, the Royal Air Force acquired a number of the simplified AN/AVQ-23E pods for their Blackburn Buccaneers. Twelve aircraft equipped with the pod were deployed to Saudi Arabia for the Gulf War to initially perform laser designation for other RAF aircraft [1]. Later in the air campaign, these aircraft would carry laser-designated bombs themselves.

The pod is now obsolete, and is being phased out in favor of newer systems like LANTIRN and AN/ASQ-228 ATFLIR.

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