Alan Peaford

Northrop Grumman's Electronic Sensors and Systems Sector (ES3) has successfully completed operational testing and evaluation of its Litening II production pods at the Air National Guard (ANG) and Air Force Reserve Test Center in Tucson, Arizona.

The Test Center received the Litening II Precision Attack Targeting System on 1 February after qualification and evaluation tests were successfully completed at Edwards Air Force Base.

The Litening II pod was flown on a Lockheed Martin F-16 in 'live' battle scenarios, including interdiction, offensive counter-air, defensive counter-air and close air support.

Both day and night operations were conducted, with night missions employing night vision goggles.

"The Litening II system clearly demonstrated its capacity to aid in 'real' target recognition during the tests in Tucson," says Bill Brackney, vice-president and general manager of ES3's Defensive Systems Division.

"The flight test schedule for the Litening II system has been extremely demanding, and we are pleased that the system continues to meet expectations."

Litening II is a self-contained, self-cooled, multi-sensor laser target designating system. Features include forward-looking infrared (FLIR), charge-coupled device television and laser spot tracker/range finder sensors.

The system is mechanically, electronically and aerodynamically compatible with all F-16 aircraft and requires no structural modifications to install.

A total of eight systems will be shipped to the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) units beginning later this month to provide an initial operating capability.

Ultimately, 17 ANG and four AFRC F-16 aircraft squadrons will be outfitted with this precision strike capability.

Source: Flight Daily News