Barksdale’s B-52s Get Sniper Pod

Members of the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale AFB, La., made their first live run with the Sniper targeting pod on one of their B-52 bombers, according to a wing release. “This flight was the first time that the 2nd BW has used the Sniper pod with live ordnance,” said Capt. Ryan Allen, a 20th Bomb Squadron radar navigation instructor, in Barksdale’s March 22 release. Sniper, supplied by Lockheed Martin, gives B-52 aircrews the ability to positively identify targets at long range and downlink video imagery to ground troops. “With the pod, we can integrate with the guys on the ground and let them see what we see,” said Allen. Sniper also allows the crews to designate targets for the laser-guided bombs that the bombers carry and to generate target coordinates for the GPS-guidance-aided joint direct attack munitions that they employ. “What would normally take me 30 to 40 button presses in five minutes, now only takes me a few seconds to actually target and drop munitions,” said Allen. The B-52 can also operate with Northrop Grumman’s Litening targeting pod. (Barksdale report by SSgt. Jason McCasland)