BRITISH AEROSPACE is carrying out a project-definition study into equipping the Royal Air Force's BAe Harrier GR.7s with the GEC-Marconi Thermal Imaging and Laser Designation (TIALD) pod.

The TIALD pod is already in service with the RAF on its Panavia Tornado GR.1 strike aircraft. The air force has been looking to provide the Harrier with a self-designation capability for the delivery of stand-off laser guided bombs such as the Texas Instruments Paveway II and Paveway III.

The RAF is also fitting the TIALD pod to some of its Sepecat Jaguars. The first of the modified Jaguars, was officially handed over to the RAF, on 24 February, by prime contractor, The UK Defence Research Agency.

To provide the single-seat Jaguar with a TIALD designation capability, a hands-on-throttle-and-stick control column, head-down display, wide-angle head-up display, global-positioning system and a 1553 digital databus were fitted.

The RAF decided to modify 12 Jaguars for the TIALD role in February 1994 and a decision in principle to carry out a similar programme for the GR.7, is believed to have been made at the same time.

Source: Flight International