Rafael Advanced Defence Systems teamed with Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI’s) Elta Systems to equip the Litening 5 and Reccelite XR all-weather stand-off airborne electro-optic (EO) targeting pods with a powerful SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar), adding significant capabilities to the Litenings’s EO, multi-spectral, stand-off pod, significantly expanded wide area coverage and true day/night, all-weather operation. Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. is unveiling it has upgraded its fifth generation Litening and Reccelite systems, effectively transforming them from traditional EO pods into EO+, with the addition of a unique SAR feature and the optional application of additional EO+ features, such as (EW, Comm, IRST). This constitutes a revolutionary quantum leap in all-weather, stand-off targeting and reconnaissance pods.
Litening 5 is Rafael Advanced Defence Systems latest-generation high-resolution multi-sensor targeting pod, incorporating an upgraded 1.2K × 1.2K large aperture forward-looking mid-wave infrared (MWIR) and a short-wave infrared (SWIR). The MWIR/SWIR sensor package is complemented by a large aperture colour charge-coupled device (CCD) containing a 1.2K × 1.6K visible radiation sensor, a laser designator, ground moving target indicator, and advanced image processing and digital video output. Litening is the most popular pod in the world, with over 1,900 units already in service. They are deployed by 27 Air Forces around the world. Litening is integrated and operational on over 25 types of aircraft ‒ including the F-16, F-15, AV8B, F-18, F-4, F-5, A-10, B-2, Jaguar, LCA, AMX, Mirage 2000, Tornado, Typhoon, MiG-21, MiG-27, M346, KC390, Gripen, and Sukhoi 27 & 30.
Weighing 250 kg, the Reccelite XR turret incorporates a multispectral sensor package, using red, green, blue, NIR, and MWIR sensors for vertical scanning, and MWIR and SWIR sensors with a large common aperture for stand-off persistent wide-area scanning. The turret features separate wide-band (Ku band) and close air support (C band) digital communications channels, full motion video, and a ground exploitation system with automatic real time processing. The Reccelite XR’s mission plan can be uploaded prior to take off or uplinked during flight, and either performed automatically or manually for targets of opportunity. Reccelite is deployed by more than 10 Air Forces around the world. The system is integrated and operational on multiple aircraft types, including the AMX, F-16, F-18, Gripen, Heron 1, Jaguar, Reaper, Tornado, and Typhoon.
Reccelite + SAR is one of Rafael’s latest game-changers, with the addition of ELTA’s powerful SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) to the, stand-off Reccelite ISR pod. A SAR is a coherent, mostly airborne, sidelooking radar system that utilises the flight path of the platform to electronically simulate an extremely large antenna or aperture and generate high-resolution remote sensing imagery. Over time, individual transmit/receive cycles (PRT’s) are completed with the data from each cycle being stored electronically. The GMTI capability enables the radar to discriminate a specific target against clutter. The addition of the SAR payload – where the EO and radar sensors in the SAR upgraded Litening 5 and RecceLite XR pods are operated autonomously – is a quantum leap both in terms of capability and flexibility, according to Rafael Advanced Defence Systems.