The U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Egypt of Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods (ATPs) and related equipment for an estimated cost of $65.6 million. The Government of Egypt has requested to buy twenty (20) AN/AAQ-33 Sniper ATPs. Also included are pylons; shipping containers; spare and repair/return parts; ground handling equipment; publications and technical documentation; software and software support; personnel training; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistical support services; and other related elements of program and logistical support.
The proposed sale will improve Egypt’s capability and effectiveness to meet current and future threats by providing additional precision targeting capability to conduct border security and counterterrorism operations. The added precision strike capability will better enable Egypt to conduct operations while minimizing collateral damage. Egypt will have no difficultly absorbing the additional equipment into its armed forces. The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region. The principal contractor will be Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company in Fort Worth, TX. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.
The Lockheed Martin Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods is a targeting pod for military aircraft that provides positive target identification, autonomous tracking, GPS coordinate generation, and precise weapons guidance from extended standoff ranges. The system has been designated AN/AAQ-33 in U.S. military service as the Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP). Further variants are the Sniper Extended Range (XR), as well as the PANTERA export derivative of the Sniper XR. The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is built with the equivalent of the Sniper XR in its onboard sensors. The most modern version is the Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod – Sensor Enhancement (ATP-SE).
The Sniper is a single, lightweight targeting pod with much lower aerodynamic drag than the systems it replaces. Its image processing allows aircrews to detect, identify and engage tactical-size targets outside the range of most enemy air defenses, giving it a crucial role in the destruction of enemy air defense missions. It also supports urban engagements beyond jet noise range for counter-insurgency operations. It offers a 3-5X increase in detection range over the older LANTIRN system, and is currently flying on U.S. Air Force and multinational F-16, F-15, B-1B, CF-18, Harrier, A-10, B-52 and Tornado aircraft.