Raytheon has today received a US$62.3 million contract from Boeing for Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) of 15 Advanced Targeting Forward Looking Infrared (ATFLIR) pods and spares.
ATFLIR is a third generation electro-optical targeting pod that is said to outperform both the LANTIRN pod and the AAS-38 NITE Hawk targeting pod currently deployed by the Navy and Marine Corps.
ATFLIR combines the navigation and targeting FLIR capabilities into a single pod, freeing up one weapon station. Offering day or night capability, ATFLIR incorporates a staring mid-wave focal plane array, high-energy laser designator and improved FLIR-to-laser boresight.
The system also provides the capability to detect, classify and track both air-to-air and air-to-surface targets and supports the autonomous delivery of existing laser-guided weapons and emerging standoff weapons.
Its visible band camera enhances long-range target recognition and weapons delivery in daylight conditions. Designed for platform flexibility, ATFLIR is planned for integration on both the F/A-18 C/D Hornet and the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet aircraft.
Raytheon will begin delivery of ATFLIR to the fleet to support the first deployment of the new F/A-18E by the US Navy’s Eagles of VFA-115 in June 2002 aboard the USS Lincoln. The pod will also support VFA-14 andVFA-41 on their first deployment in the F/A-18 E/F scheduled for 2003 aboardthe USS Nimitz.