The MoD has awarded Lockheed Martin a contract to supply the Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP) for the Harrier GR9 aircraft, with deliveries due to begin in March 2007 and a full capability deployment scheduled for June 2007.
According to Lockheed, the Sniper ATP’s capabilities and interoperability across platforms give commanders flexibility, and will allow the RAF Harrier to provide air cover for a broad array of coalition missions. Additionally, the Sniper ATP permits pilots to detect and identify weapon caches and individuals carrying armaments while remaining outside jet noise ranges.
Sniper ATP’s low-risk integration was demonstrated in the Rapid Technology Insertion (RTI) Programme jointly funded by Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, and SELEX. This RTI resulted in a successful first flight of the Sniper ATP on the Harrier 60 days from inception of the project.
According to a Harrier test pilot, the performance of the Sniper pod on Harrier was exceptional in terms of resolution, accuracy and stability of the display. The quality of imagery and enhanced zoom facilities in both IR and TV allowed the identification of targets well beyond ranges currently possible.
The MoD joins the Royal Norwegian Air Force, the Polish Air and Air Defence Force, the Royal Air Force of Oman, the Belgium Defence and other international customers in selecting the Sniper ATP.
In addition to the MoD’s Harrier GR9, Sniper ATP is currently flying on the US. Air Force and multinational F-15s, F-16s, A-10s and B-1s.