Lockheed Martin recently delivered the final AN/AAQ-39 targeting system full production unit to the U.S. Air Force. Q-39 is the electro-optical/infrared targeting system for the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command AC-130U Gunship.
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 improved positive combat identification for AC-130U aviators,” said Joseph Butera, senior program manager of airborne systems in Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control business. “Precision fire control allows warfighters to confidently engage threats at safe stand-off ranges and return safely to base.”
The U.S. Air Force awarded the GMS2 initial development contract in 2004 and the initial production contract in 2006. Lockheed Martin received the follow-on contract for Q-39 prime mission equipment in July 2008 and delivered the first of 12 full production units in July 2010. Contracted sustainment activities will continue throughout the year with options to extend support another two years.
In December 2010, the U.S. Air Force awarded a contract to upgrade the five initial production GMS2 systems to the Q-39 follow-on production configuration. Deliveries of the upgraded systems will be complete in 2012.
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 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 Target Sight System for the U.S. Marine Corps.