Northrop Grumman to Provide Logistic Support for RAAF’s F/A-18 Hornet Target Designation Systems
Northrop Grumman Corporation and the Royal Australian Air Force have agreed to extend their contract that provides logistical support for the F/A-18 Hornet Target Designations Systems.
The extension is for four additional years, matching the length of the last extension they signed. The agreement states, among other things, that Northrop Grumman will keep providing in-service support for the RAAF's LITENING targeting pods and data links at RAAF Base Williamtown and RAAF Base Tindal. This LITENING pod allows for pilots to detect, acquire, auto-track, and identify targets from very far distances. It is used for weapon delivery or surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
Northrop has a long track record of delivering LITENING pods to their customers worldwide, as they have delivered over 700 of them. They have accumulated more than two million operating hours. Officials at Northrop Grumman believe that making their pods more like the ones America’s forces have will help out the Australian air force in the long run.
"This extension strengthens the Northrop Grumman-RAAF partnership and our company's long-term commitment to the Commonwealth,"
said Ian Irving, chief executive, Northrop Grumman Australia.
"In addition to the support award, several enhancements have recently been authorized for the Hornet Target Designation System to improve tactical effectiveness. These may reduce costs by aligning the RAAF's pod configuration with that of U.S. forces."
The F/A-18 Super Hornet uses the AN/AAQ-28(V) LITENING pod. It is a supersonic, all-weather multirole fighter jet. It has the ability to take off and land on an aircraft carrier. To date, every one of these aircraft has been delivered on time and on cost. Optional upgrades to the aircraft include perks such as Conformal fuel tanks, enclosed weapons pod, enhanced engine and a reduced radar signature.
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