Rafael pitches Litening pod for India's fighter contest

Tel Aviv
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Israel's Rafael has intensified a marketing push to get its Litening G-4 targeting pod on board whichever aircraft eventually wins the Indian air force's medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) competition.

The 126-aircraft requirement is one of the most sought-after defence contracts for the next few years and is likely to be worth more than $11 billion. The Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, Lockheed Martin F-16, RSK MiG-35 and Saab Gripen NG are in contention for the deal.

Last September, Rafael and Northrop Grumman were awarded a contract by the US Department of Defense to partially fulfil a contract for advanced targeting pods for the US Air Force with the Litening.

The companies are now working together in the Indian market to brief defence establishment figures on the Litening G-4 and how it would interface with the various aircraft bidding for the MMRCA contract.

Separately, Rafael says several air forces are negotiating to buy its Reccelite real-time intelligence and reconnaissance system, following its recent operational performance in Afghanistan.

"The forces there learned that the capabilities of this system and its ground station enable them to detect ambushes and other threats, like improvised explosive devices in almost real time by a fast comparison of the images captured by the system," says Rafael executive vice-president marketing Lova Drori.

Nations to have used the Reccelite sensor in Afghanistan include Germany and the Netherlands. The design is derived from the Litening pod.