Northrop Grumman have announced that the Litening targeting and sensor pod set another milestone by becoming the first third-generation system to book customer orders for over 500 pods.

The company’s latest contract win from the United States Marine Corp and Air National Guard for the Litening G4 targeting and sensor pods placed the company over the 500 pod threshold. Delivery of these Litening G4 pods will start in mid 2009.

Litening Gen 4 is the next step in the evolution of the Litening family and applies the latest in sensor technology to achieve unprecedented levels of target detection, recognition and identification ranges.

104th FS weapons and tactics officer, US Air National Guard, Major Richard Hunt said that 100 percent of all target identification for 100% of all weapons employed by the squadron was done using Litening video down link.

“The pod was used constantly to ensure 100% positive identification of friendlies and civilians to prevent fratricide and collateral damage. The pod just always worked,” Hunt said.

Vice president of targeting and surveillance programmes at Northrop Grumman’s defensive systems division, Mike Lennon said that Litening had become the pod of choice for both US and coalition forces.

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“Currently, there are more Litening pods deployed and in use than any other advanced targeting system, providing the warfighter with unprecedented capabilities to survive, prosecute and destroy the enemy,” said Lennon.

Litening advanced targeting (AT) pods have proven their combat capabilities and inherent flexibility to adapt to changing operational requirements. Rapid integration on a wide variety of aircraft serving all components of the US Air Force, the US Marine Corps, the Italian and Spanish Navies, the Israeli Air Force, the Royal Australian Air Force, the Royal Netherlands Air Force, the Finnish Air Force and the Portuguese Air Force.

Litening has also pioneered such advanced targeting technologies as precisely aligned and stable sensors; coordinated air-to-ground and air-to-air capabilities through laser spot search and track and laser markers; and J-series weapons employment capabilities.

By Daniel Garrun.