Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod
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The Lockheed Martin Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP), designated AN/AAQ-33 in U.S. Military Service, provides positive target identification, autonomous tracking, coordinate generation, and precise weapons guidance from extended standoff ranges. The Sniper ATP is used on the B-52H Stratofortress, B-1B Lancer, F-15E Strike Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, A-10 Thunderbolt II, UK Harrier GR9, and Canadian CF-18 Hornet. The Sniper ATP is in service with Norway, Oman, Poland, Singapore, Canada, Belgium, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Thailand  and the UK MoD. In July 2007, Sniper ATP was acquired by Pakistan, making it the tenth country in the world to be in possession of the Sniper pod. The Sniper ATP contains a laser designator and tracker for guiding laser-guided bombs. The pod also features a third-generation FLIR receiver and a CCD television camera. FLIR allows observation and tracking in low light / no light situations, while the CCD camera allows the same functions during day time operations.
The U.S. Air Force initial seven-year contract for Sniper ATP has potential value in excess of $843 million. The Sniper ATP has delivered over 125 pods and the U.S. Air Force plans to procure at least 522 Sniper ATPs.
PANTERA is the export equivalent to the Lockheed Martin Sniper Extended Range (XR) targeting pod.
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is built with the equivalent of the Sniper XR in its onboard sensors.
In August 2001, the U.S. Air Force announced Lockheed Martin's Sniper as the winner of the ATP competition. The contract provides for pods and associated equipment, spares, and support of the F-16 and F-15E aircraft for the total force, active-duty Air Force and Air National Guard.
In 2014, the USAF declared initial operational capability for the Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod - Sensor Enhancement (ATP-SE), which included sensor and networking improvements.
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The Sniper ATP is a single, lightweight pod with much lower aerodynamic drag than the legacy systems it replaces. The Sniper possesses advanced targeting technology and its image processing allows aircrews to detect and identify tactical-size targets outside threat rings for the destruction of enemy air defense mission, as well as outside jet noise ranges for urban counter-insurgency operations. It offers a 3-5 times increase in detection range over the legacy LANTIRN system. It is currently flying on the U.S. Air Force and multinational F-16, F-15, B-1B, CF-18, Harrier, A-10, B-52 and Tornado aircraft.
The Sniper ATP incorporates a multi-spectral sensor capability with a high-resolution, mid-wave third-generation FLIR and a CCD-TV. Advanced sensors, combined with advanced image processing algorithms and rock-steady stabilization produce target identification ranges that permit operations minimizing exposure to many threat systems. The dual-mode laser offers an eye safe mode for urban combat and training operations, along with a laser-guided bomb designation laser for guiding in these precision munitions.
For target coordination with ground and air forces, a laser spot tracker, a laser marker, and a TV quality video down link to joint terminal air controllers improve rapid target detection / identification. Sniper ATP provides high-resolution imagery highly sought after for the non-traditional intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance mission. Sniper ATP is the only targeting pod being used in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom on F-16's, F-15E's, and B-1B's.
For ease of maintenance, Sniper ATP's revolutionary optical bed design, optimal partitioning, and diagnostic capabilities permit true two-level maintenance, eliminating costly intermediate-level support. Automated built-in test permits a flightline maintainer to isolate and replace an LRU (Line Replaceable Unit) in under 20 minutes to get the pod back up to full mission capable status.
- Saudi Arabia
- Primary Function: Positive identification, automatic tracking and laser designation
- Prime Contractor: Lockheed Martin
- Length: 94 inches (239 centimeters)
- Diameter: 11.9 inches (30 centimeters)
- Weight: 440 pounds (199 kilograms)
- Aircraft: F-15E, F-16 Block 30/40/50, A-10, B-1, B-52, CF-18, Harrier, Tornado
- Sensors: Mid-wave third generation FLIR, dual mode eye-safe, laser designator, CCD-TV, laser spot tracker and laser marker
- Date Deployed: January 2005
- Inventory: Not available.
*Competitive Device: Northrop Grumman Corporation LITENING targeting pod
- Similar devices
- "SNIPER CONTRACT A HIT FOR UK HARRIER".
- Harrington, Caitlin (March 16, 2009), Jane's Missing or empty
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- Saudis Seek Sniper ATP Supplementation for F-15S
- "LOCKHEED MARTIN'S SNIPER XR ADVANCED TARGETING POD TEAM CHOSEN BY AVIATION WEEK & SPACE TECHNOLOGY AS 2004 LAURELS HONOREE".
- "Belgian Air Force buys eight Sniper XR targeting pods".
- Lockheed Martin To Supply ATP's for Pakistan Air Force F-16s - India Defence
- Lockheed Martin uk demonstrates Sniper advanced targeting pod on board tornado gr4
- "U.S. Air Force Declares Initial Operational Capability for Lockheed Martin’s Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod – Sensor Enhancement". www.lockheedmartin.com. Lockheed Martin. 17 March 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod.|
- Lockheed Martin's Sniper ATP page
- "Sniper Targeting Pod Attacks From Long Standoff Ranges", Aviation Week & Space Technology, October 3, 2004.