Tech & Kit

Air Support: Sniper ATP

WASHINGTON, DC In its first month with Sniper ATP, 354th Fighter Squadron Airmen successfully utilized the new combat capability during two separate military exercises. During Exercise Emerald Warrior at Hurlburt Field, FL, A-10C pilots with Sniper ATP successfully supported a range of special operations forces missions. During Exercise Green Flag East, the crews successfully supported Army ground forces conducting urban combat training at the Army’s Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, LA.

According to Lockheed Martin, the combat-proven Sniper Pod is the U.S. Air Force’s advanced targeting pod (ATP) of record. The Sniper ATP provides critical long-range, positive identification of targets and possesses a video down link (VDL) equipped with the widely used Rover ground receiver to relay high resolution streaming video to forward-deployed forces for NT-ISR and rapid target coordination. Its advanced target identification capabilities enhance the Warfighter’s ability to detect and analyze ground targets while dramatically decreasing the risks posed by enemy air defenses.

The Sniper ATP also provides essential non-traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance using high-resolution, mid-wave FLIR and TV sensors, which operate in conjunction with a dual-mode laser, permitting eye-safe operation and precise geo-location in urban environments.

For target coordination, the Sniper pod possesses a laser spot tracker to acquire other laser spots from air and ground assets, an infrared marker visible to night vision goggles and a VDL to ground forces. Sniper ATP provides real-time targeting for J-series weapons and its state-of-the-art tracker enables employment of advanced laser-guided weapons against moving targets. The Sniper ATP is the only targeting pod fielded that incorporates meta-data in every frame of video. The date/time stamp and coordinate information further ensure accuracy throughout intelligence and command and control functions.

A precision targeting system in a single, lightweight pod, Sniper ATP is designed for current and future aircraft. Sniper ATP is currently flying on the U.S. Air Force and multinational F-16, F-15, B-1, F-18, Harrier, A-10, B-52 and Tornado aircraft. Its common software and hardware interface design enables users to “plug and play” across services and multiple platforms, providing a common software and hardware configuration across aircraft fleets for greater interoperability.

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