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30 Apr 15. Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] marked the 1,000th Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP) delivery during a ceremony held at its Missiles and Fire Control facility in Orlando, Florida. The 1,000th pod, which was delivered to the U.S. Air Force, is a sensor-enhanced Sniper ATP that provides fighter and bomber aircraft with advanced modes for non-traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (NTISR); enhanced target identification; maritime tracking; and two-way datalink communication.
“One thousand pods is a significant milestone for the Sniper program, and our team is proud to be a part of that success,” said David McCain, U.S. Air Force Sniper program manager. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with Lockheed Martin, providing advanced targeting capability to our aircrews.”
Lockheed Martin’s Sniper ATP is the winner of the 2010 U.S. Air Force/Air National Guard Advanced Targeting Pod – Sensor Enhancement competition. Since 2003, Lockheed Martin has delivered more than 575 Sniper ATPs to the U.S. Air Force/Air National Guard and more than 400 Sniper ATPs to international air forces.
“Sniper ATP’s performance, reliability and maintainability have enabled customers worldwide to successfully carry out their precision strike and NTISR missions,” said Ken Fuhr, director of fixed wing programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “Lockheed Martin continues to invest in Sniper ATP capability enhancements to meet our customers’ evolving needs.”
Sniper ATP is interoperable across multiple platforms, including U.S. Air Force and multi-national F-15, F-16, F-18, A-10, B-1 and B-52 aircraft. In 2014, the Sniper ATP team received the Secretary of Defense Performance-Based Logistics Award, recognizing its excellence in providing operational support to warfighters.
27 Apr 15. Gripen radar upgrade aimed at Sweden and exports. Saab unveiled a major upgrade of the JAS 39C/D Gripen’s radar here April 27, intended to double its detection and tracking range and give it the ability to track low-radar-cross-section (RCS) targets. Developed with company funds over the last two years, the Saab PS-05/A Mk. 4 bucks the trend toward electronically scanned arrays in radar design by retaining a mechanically scanned antenna. A prototype made its first flight in a Gripen in December, on a JAS 39D, and the radar is being offered to the Swedish air force and to export customers, with deliveries two years after an order. Today’s Mk. 3 radar can be converted to a Mk. 4 by replacing two line-replaceable units with new hardware: an all-digital exciter/receiver and a radar processing unit. Part of the performance improvement comes from the exciter/receiver, which Saab claims has such a low noise level that the company found it hard to procure test equipment that would measure it. It also is inherently wideband and can simultaneously receive its own radar signals and emissions from other radars. The new processor includes a high-capacity, solid-state data recorder and is based on commercial off-the-shelf components. It supports new processing algorithms derived from Saab’s family of Giraffe ground-based radars, including sub-meter-resolution synthetic aperture radar modes and non-cooperative target recognition features. The claimed performance improvement – up to 150 % range increase, or the ability to detect a target with an RCS of 0.1 square meters at the same range at which the Mk. 3 can see a 4-sq.-meter target – points to the use of multi-hypothesis or track-before-detect algorithms to pull targets out of clutter. Saab decided not to use an active electronically scanned array (AESA) because its cooling requirements would require substantial changes to the Gripen. The company is in talks with the Swedish air force about retrofitting the service’s 100-strong JAS 39C/D force, w