Lockheed Martin will provide the Royal Saudi Air Force with Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods (ATP) for improving the Saudi Air Force’s F-15S aircraft’s precision targeting, reconnaissance capability, intelligence, and surveillance capabilities under a foreign military sales contract worth $40 million.
The Saudi Air Force is purchasing the Sniper ATP for the second time as part of its multi-year modernization program related to the precision sensor. The first purchase of the Sniper pods was made by the Saudi Air Force in March 2009. The F-15S pod was evaluated for operational performance and the Saudi Air Force approved the pod as mission ready after the evaluation was completed by January 2010.
The Sniper ATP features a high degree of stability and image quality by virtue of its state-of-the-art design. It is capable of providing very precise targeting for moving as well as fixed targets. The Sniper ATP ensures coordination between ground troops and air crews in real time through a high-performance link. It is also able to provide real-time displays of the weapon damage estimation radius for reducing the possibility of collateral damage. The Sniper is widely utilized as a non-conventional reconnaissance, surveillance and intelligence asset for battlefield situational awareness and convoy route reconnaissance.
The Sniper ATP has been deployed in a theater where the U.S. Air Force is taking part along with its B-1, A-10, F-15, and aircraft coalition partners. It is also used and operated on the Harrier GR9 and GR7, CF-18 aircraft. The unmanned aerial vehicles, Typhoon, B-52, Tornado and additional aircraft are also continuing with the platform extension.
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control’s Saudi Sniper ATP program manager John Rogers revealed that the Saudi aircrews who fly the Sniper pod have given positive feedback to Lockheed. He added that Lockheed is planning to offer more pods for supporting the Saudi Air Force’s urgent operational need for Sniper ATP. According to Rogers the Sniper ATPs under the initial contract were delivered before schedule.