Wednesday, November 30, 2022

U.S. Air Force awards contract to Northrop Grumman for pod targeting system

U.S. defense contractor Northrop Grumman has been awarded a $141 million contract for new LITENING advanced targeting pods.

The contract, from  U.S. Air Force and announced on Thursday, is covers delivery of LITENING advanced targeting pods and upgrades that can provide the commander real-time information videos, images, maps, coordinates or any file type from the forward deployed elements without relying on satellite, radio or other forms of traditional communication.

“LITENING was designed for, and has provided, an affordable and rapid upgrade path to our users,” said Brent Toland, vice president, land and avionics C4ISR, Northrop Grumman. “This task order demonstrates the enduring value and performance LITENING provides customers in integrating relevant mission capabilities.”


LITENING features high definition video, 1K FLIR sensors, laser imaging sensors and multiple plug-and-play data link options. Any LITENING pod can be upgraded to the latest configuration.

LITENING is in service with major components of the U.S. Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, Marine Corps and several international customers. It has been integrated on a wide range of platforms, including AV-8B, A-10, B-52, C-130, F-15, F-16, F/A-18 and MQ-9.

The advanced targeting pods provide aircrews detailed target images in television and infrared modes, laser illumination and tracking, automatic target searching and tracking, and automated target reconnaissance.

Photo courtesy of Northrop Grumman

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.