U.S. Army Paratroopers assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division executed a live fire range using the Tube-launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided or TOW weapon system. This Improved Target Acquisition System (ITAS) provides long-range sensor and anti-armor/precision assault fire capabilities, enabling the Soldier to shape the battlefield by detecting and engaging targets at long range with Tube-Launched, Optically Tracked, Wireless-Guided (TOW) Missiles; or directing the employment of other weapon systems to destroy those targets. ITAS is a multipurpose weapon system, used as a reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition sensor.
The TOW ITAS consists of three new line replaceable units: the target acquisition subsystem (TAS), the fire control subsystem (FCS), and the lithium battery box (LBB); a modified TOW 2 traversing unit; the existing TOW launch tube and tripod; and a TOW Humvee modification kit. The TAS integrates into a single housing the direct view optics and missile tracker, a second-generation forward looking infrared (FLIR) night vision sight (NVS), and a laser rangefinder. TAS electronics provide automatic boresighting for these components, eliminating both tactical collimation and 180-day verification requirements.
The integral cooling system for the IR optics is a modern SADA-II electrically powered cryocooler, removing the need to carry a supply of high-pressure coolant gas cartridges as was necessary for the previous AN/TAS-4 and AN/TAS-4A night sights. The most recent addition to the ITAS system is the ITAS-FTL ( Improved Target Acquisition System – Far Target Location), which incorporates a new module called PADS (position attitude determination subsystem), a device that attaches to the top of the ITAS sighting unit and uses differential GPS tracking to relay precise coordinate data to the operator.
The BGM-71 TOW is an American anti-tank missile. TOW replaced much smaller missiles like the SS.10 and ENTAC, offering roughly twice the effective range, a more powerful warhead, and a greatly improved semi-automatic guidance system that could also be equipped with infrared cameras for night time use. First produced in 1970, TOW is one of the most widely used anti-tank guided missiles. It can be found in a wide variety of manually carried and vehicle-mounted forms, as well as widespread use on helicopters. Originally designed by Hughes Aircraft in the 1960s, the weapon is currently produced by Raytheon.