Leonardo and Collins Aerospace have signed an agreement to provide the Australian Defence Force (ADF) with Type 163 laser target designators (LTDs).

The product is a lightweight, compact, high-energy laser targeting system, designed for deployment with the land forces.

Leonardo has used its expertise and experience in supplying high-energy targeting lasers for aircraft, to develop the Type 163 LTD.

The system is being offered for the ADF’s LAND 17 Phase 2 digital terminal control system (DTCS)–capability assurance program.

The order is a follow-on from a previous contract placed by the ADF. It will be completed in the second quarter of this year.

Available in a compact 2.3kg package, the combat-proven system brings together superior power, reliability, and portability, and allows rapid deployment and engagement.

It provides users with maximum flexibility in mission planning and helps to minimise the carrying load for the soldiers.

According to Leonardo, the system is designed to fulfil the mission needs to mark and terminally control semi-active air-to-ground weapons accurately onto target ranges of up to 10km.

It is used by Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs) and Joint Fires Observers (JFOs).

The Type 163 LTD is produced by Leonardo engineers, in Edinburgh, UK.

More than 800 units of the system have been delivered to 27 nations.

In July 2021, Collins Aerospace received a contract to supply the next generation DTCS, under the ADF’s LAND 17 Phase 2 programme.

The Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF) awarded a contract to Leonardo in January 2021 to deliver its Type 163 LTD.