Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin received two contracts from Boeing to produce and integrate infrared Legion Pod sensor systems into the F-15C Eagle air superiority fighter.
The first deliveries of production pods and spares will begin in 2020 as part of the U.S. Air Force's Initial Operational Capability certification and fielding. The Legion Pod was picked as the Infrared Search and Track for the U.S. Air Force's F-15Cs in 2017. The Air Force plans to expand its use to the F-15E Strike Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon as well as unmanned aerial vehicles.
The Legion Pod is a Infrared Search and Track sensor used to locate and track airborne targets in radar-denied environments or when a passive system is needed to avoid detection.
The IRST21 autonomously detects and tracks airborne targets at long ranges and can merge the data with the fighter's other sensors to provide a multi-dimensional view of threats. Its passive operation allows target detection and tracking without giving away the plane's location and identification with detectable radar transmissions.
Its pod system is highly modular and can be mounted on a wide variety of manned and unmanned aircraft, including helicopters and drones. The pod can be equipped with other sensor systems as well that can be linked together with IRST.