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U.S. Air Force awards $176 million for enhanced Sniper ATPs

By Ryan Maass
U.S. Air Force awards $176 million for enhanced Sniper ATPs
A Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod hangs from the underbelly of a B-1B Lancer. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Air Force

ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 22 (UPI) -- The U.S. Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin $176.1 million in contracts for Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod-Sensor Enhancement production.

The contracts also cover upgrades to bring Sniper ATPs to the enhanced ATP-SE configuration, which includes improved sensors, a two-way datalink, and algorithms designed to improve air-to-air and air-to-ground targeting capabilities. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in late 2016.

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The Sniper ATP is a targeting system mounted on fighter aircraft that provides improved air-to-air and air-to-ground targeting. The pod is lightweight and versatile, compatible with several aircraft including the F-16, F-15, B-52, F-18, and others. Both the F-16 and F-15 have used the pod during combat missions.

Paul Lemmo, vice president of Fire Control/SOF CLSS at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, says the advanced targeting capabilities will be beneficial for allowing the Air Force to meet growing threats abroad.

"With the purchase of new Sniper ATP-SEs and the continued conversion of Sniper ATPs to ATP-SEs, the U.S. Air Force will gain greater targeting capability and performance across its multi-platform fleet," Lemmo said in a statement. "Lockheed Martin's ongoing investments and Sniper's modular, open architecture have ensured it can address growing threats and remain the pod of choice for air forces worldwide."

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The Sniper ATP was introduced in 2005, and has been used in thousands of missions since its release.

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