ORLANDO, Fla.: Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Air Force have successfully completed Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP) A-10C site activations at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, AZ, and Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany.
Sniper ATP site activations involve pod installation, maintenance and aircrew training. Coordinated with the Air Force Precision Attack Systems Project Office and Air Combat Command, Sniper ATP site activation efforts ensure maintainers are prepared to fully support the system in theater and that aircrews are proficient with pod operations and capabilities.
“The Sniper ATP represents a significant improvement in combat capability,” said Lt. Col. Michael Millen, commander of the 354th Fighter Squadron, Davis-Monthan AFB. “With the addition of the Sniper ATP, the A-10C has realized a quantum leap in its ability to locate, identify, track and ultimately defeat targets across the modern battlefield. The A-10C with Sniper ATP is an incredibly lethal combination.”
In its first month with Sniper ATP, 354th Fighter Squadron Airmen successfully utilized the new combat capability during two separate military exercises. During Exercise Emerald Warrior at Hurlburt Field, FL, A-10C pilots with Sniper ATP successfully supported a range of special operations forces missions. During Exercise Green Flag East, the crews successfully supported Army ground forces conducting urban combat training at the Army’s Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, LA.
“In both exercises, Sniper ATP proved a tremendous asset due to its enhanced ability to track moving targets, as well as its capability to downlink full-motion video so that Joint Terminal Attack Controllers on the ground could fully assist in positive identification of all targets. In the final analysis, the A-10C with Sniper ATP truly delivered precision engagement,” said Lt. Col. Millen.
Competitively selected as the Advanced Targeting Pod for the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard, the Sniper ATP provides critical long-range, positive identification of both moving and stationary air and ground targets. It also possesses a video down link equipped with the widely used Rover ground receiver to relay high-resolution streaming video to forward-deployed forces for non-traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and rapid target coordination.
“The Sniper pod delivers true precision engagement while increasing standoff, allowing for both greater lethality and increased survivability in a hostile combat environment,” said Lt. Col. Millen.
Designed, developed and manufactured by Lockheed Martin, the Sniper ATP provides unrivaled precision engagement through its high-resolution, mid-wave forward-looking infrared (FLIR) and TV sensors, which operate in conjunction with a dual-mode laser, permitting eye-safe operation and precise geo-location in urban environments.
Sniper ATP is currently site activated at operational U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard F-16 Block 30/40/42/50/52, as well as all F-15E and B-1 bases. It is deployed in combat operations on F-16, F-15E, B-1 and Harrier GR7 and GR9 aircraft. At the close of 2008, over 500 Sniper pods were delivered or on order to the U.S. Air Force, Air National Guard and 10 international air forces, including coalition partners.
Sniper ATP A-10C site activation efforts are scheduled to continue this summer at Moody AFB, GA.
With advanced integration across U.S. Air Force and multinational F-16, F-15, B-1, F-18, Harrier, A-10, B-52 and Tornado aircraft, the Sniper ATP’s common software and hardware interface design enables users to “plug and play” across services and multiple platforms, providing a common software and hardware configuration across aircraft fleets for greater interoperability.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 146,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.