More Snipers

The Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin a $147 million contract for additional Sniper advanced targeting pods, the company announced yesterday. USAF has been using the sophisticated pods in combat in Southwest Asia since January 2005. They currently are carried by A-10s, B-1s, B-52s, F-15s, and F-16s, with the B-1 the most recent addition. Snipers today feature advanced optics to discern targets at standoff distances for strikes and gather imagery for intelligence purposes, including hunting for improvised explosive devices to help protect ground troops. “We are continuously driving new features and capabilities into the system to keep Sniper ATP the most advanced targeting pod in the world,” said Ken Fuhr, Lockheed’s director of fixed-wing targeting programs. Examples include a new two-way data link system that builds upon the current downlink capability and will allow aircrews and ground parties to share annotated imagery.