Lockheed Martin’s Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP) just successfully completed ground and flight testing, clearing the way for FA-50 airworthiness certification. The tests resulted in a successful long-range guided munition hit of a designated target. Passing the initial physical fit check in September 2019, this last wave of testing assessed the aircraft’s interaction with the Sniper pilot vehicle interface (PVI) and pod-specific features. Sniper ATP provides an affordable and interoperable targeting pod solution for the FA-50, which is a light combat aircraft manufactured by Korea Aerospace Industries, LTD., in partnership with Lockheed Martin.
“This success opens the path for Sniper’s integration onto FA-50 platforms around the world,” said Kenen Nelson, Fixed Wing program director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “We’re proud to add the FA-50 to the long list of platforms the Sniper ATP can operate with and enhance. More than 27 domestic and international customers rely on the Sniper ATP, and it continues to be a key solution for its precision, affordability and reliability.”
The next steps are for KAI to obtain a Certification of Airworthiness (COA) to approve Sniper to fly and operate on FA-50 light fighter jets. Once certified, KAI can upgrade existing jets and build new jets in-line with this new capability in accordance with customer requirements.
Lockheed Martin and KAI are ready to begin working with countries that have FA-50 fleets and want to incorporate Sniper ATP once the Aircraft Certification Authority has approved to proceed. The ATP product offers capability enhancements like high-resolution imagery for precision targeting and non-traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
It is the most widely deployed targeting system for fixed-wing aircraft in use by U.S. forces and is also the targeting system of choice for many international allies across multiple platforms. Sniper ATP detects, identifies, automatically tracks and laser-designates small tactical targets at long ranges and supports employment of laser-guided and GPS-guided weapons against multiple fixed and moving targets. It has won numerous awards, including the Secretary of Defense Performance-Based Logistics Award and the Perry Precision Strike Award. Sniper ATP is interoperable across multiple platforms, including U.S. Air Force and multinational F-2, F-15, F-16, F-18, A-10, B-1, B-52, Harrier and Typhoon aircraft.