The Litening keeps striking

The development of the next generation of fighter continues, with previous combat experience used in every new feature.

What the Israeli air force defined years ago as a basic requirement for every fighter aircraft is now seen as a baseline for every air force.

Rafael‫ ‬has confirmed it is in the advanced stages of developing the fifth generation of its best-selling Litening targeting pod.

The new version includes features that will facilitate its installation on large unmanned air systems (UAS) like the Israel Aerospace Industries Heron TP.

Rafael has so far sold well over 1,300 Litening pods to 28 customers around the world. According to an updated Rafael forecast demand for its Litening pod in the next 5-7 years will amount to at least 500 systems.

According to the company the Litening is currently being evaluated by operators of Eurofighter and Grippen fighter aircraft, the Indian air force and for the Brazilian ALX.

Rafael has teamed up with Northrop Grumman for the marketing of the Litening in the US market and in some other markets.

The current LITENING G4 includes a full digital 1024×1024 pixel forward-looking infrared sensor and an improved TV sensor for daytime imaging.

The G4 has been equipped with a datalink system that enables it to receive a variety of data input from multiple sources, without further modifications to the pod or aircraft.

The Rafael sources said the increasing demand for the Litening stems from the operational need to gain a “persistent look” on the ground.

The sources were only ready to say that the new Litening will have better range and resolution.

Finer details of the new features are classified, but it is be understood they will make the system more flexible and able to perform the wide range of missions currently expected from advanced fighter aircraft.

Fighters are no longer operated to stop columns of tanks, but rather to suppress a long list of threats to army units and civilian centres.

These missions call for superb accuracy and the fastest available sensor-to-shooter cycles.

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