Lockheed Martin Wins Sniper ATP Contract for Netherlands’ F-16s
Lockheed Martin was recently awarded a contract to fit the Royal Netherlands Air Force’s (RNLAF) F-16 fleet with Sniper advanced targeting pods (ATP). Arranged via the Dutch Defence Materiel Organization, the new contract allows for Lockheed Martin to deliver and equip 29 Sniper ATP systems. Additionally, the contract includes clauses for pilot training and equipment sustainment. Lockheed intends to perform upkeep on the ATP systems at the Warner Robins Logistics Complex via an agreement with the US government.
As for the equipment itself, Sniper ATPs detect, identify, and tracks small tactical targets at long ranges. It is designed to provide pilots with an unparalleled high resolution display, allowing for precision targeting as well as non-traditional intelligence. To go into more detail, Sniper ATPs function by incorporating a multi-spectral sensor that processes images, thus allowing air crews to detect and identify target size, distance, and more tactical information. The ATP also supports the employment of all laser and GPS guided weapon against multiple fixed and moving targets. Also, Sniper ATPs can be used across a number of different platforms including the F-2, F-15, F-16, F-18, A-10, B-1 and B-52 aircraft.
Lockheed has even developed a Sniper ATP variant for its upcoming F-35 Lighting II joint-strike fighter, an application which is still in its development phase. The Sniper ATP system is easily the most widely utilized targeting system for fixed-wing aircraft by the US Air Force, and also the targeting system of choice for 16 additional international air forces. This is largely due to the ability to easily swap ATPs from one application to another.
The Netherlands Royal Air Force has also made an agreement with Lockheed to expedite the delivery of Sniper ATPs, ensuring that the systems can be used in for current NRAF mission requirements. Sniper ATP deliveries will begin as soon as the first quarter of 2016.
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