The UK's BAE Systems Harrier GR9A ground-attack aircraft assigned to support NATO's International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan are to be equipped with Lockheed Martin Sniper advanced targeting pods (ATP) under an urgent operational requirement contracted last week. Further details of the deal - including the value and number of systems to be delivered - have not been disclosed.
The Sniper bid was prepared by Lockheed in partnership with BAE and Selex Sensors and Airborne Systems, with the team having performed the first flight test (above) within two months of project launch using the same interface as the legacy, Selex-supplied TIALD pod. The Sniper was the only design out of three on offer that could meet the UK's delivery completion deadline of June 2007, says a senior Royal Air Force official.
© Mark Wright