Raytheon has been awarded a $298.2 million contract for full-rate production (FRP) of the AN/ASQ-228 Advanced Targeting Forward Looking Infrared (ATFLIR) pod for the US Navy and Marine Corps’ F/A-18 fleet. The contract was awarded by the US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR).
The contract calls for the production of 88 units, associated spares, special tooling and test equipment and engineering support. Contract deliveries are currently scheduled to be complete by Nov. 2006.
The Navy plans to procure up to 574 ASQ-228 ATFLIR pods for deployment on every F/A-18 aircraft in the fleet. Current production schedules calls for delivery of eight to 10 pods for each F/A-18 squadron in the Navy and US Marine Corps.
According to Raytheon, the ASQ-228 ATFLIR is said to provide Naval aviation with a significant leap in target recognition range, the most advanced laser designation performance now available, and EO/IR imagery that is 3 to 5 times better than any other targeting pod currently in production.
All ATFLIR functions, such as third-generation mid-wave infrared targeting and navigation FLIRS, electro-optical sensor, laser rangefinder and target designator, and laser spot tracker, are integrated into one pod, freeing space on the fuselage to accommodate extra weapons.