ORLANDO, Fla.: Lockheed Martin recently delivered the first AN/AAQ-39 targeting system full production unit to the U.S. Air Force. Q-39 is the electro-optical/infrared fire control system for the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command AC-130U Gunship.
“Q-39 gives us a tremendous increase in capability; our situational awareness has doubled, allowing us to present a clearer battlefield picture to the user,” said Lt. Col. Patrick Clowney, Commander, 4th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Air Force Base. “The Q-39 sensor is a game changer; the enemy has nowhere to hide. It is our best sensor on the AC-130U.”
Q-39 improves on the combat-proven Gunship Multispectral Sensor System (GMS2). Like GMS2, Q-39 includes a large-aperture, midwave infrared sensor, two image-intensified television cameras and a near-infrared laser pointer. Q-39 also features a new solid-state, three-color laser designator and software enhancements that increase system performance and reliability. These components are integrated into a highly stabilized turret to ensure outstanding image quality and highly accurate line-of-sight pointing for gunfire control.
“Q-39 provides image stabilization and advanced extended range processing,” said Joseph Butera, Turreted Systems senior program manager at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “With positive combat identification at longer distances, pilots can confidently engage targets while remaining outside the threat’s lethal reach.”
Awarded in July 2008, the Q-39 contract includes 12 full production units. Deliveries will be completed in 2011.
Q-39 is one of several high-performance stabilized targeting systems designed, manufactured, tested and supported by Lockheed Martin. The company’s fielded solutions for fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft include the Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor for the U.S. Army, Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod for the U.S. Air Force and the Target Sight System for the U.S. Marine Corps.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 136,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s 2009 sales from continuing operations were $44.5 billion.