February 18, 2003: Expedited Program to Integrate a New Targeting Pod on Block 50 F-16 Fighters

  • Published
  • Air Force Flight Test Center

A 32-person team from the 416 FLTS completed an expedited program to integrate a new targeting pod on Block 50 F-16 fighters. By working all night and borrowing assets from other Combined Test Forces, the team condensed six weeks of development, testing and evaluation into three and a half days and confirmed that a new software upgrade and the Litening II targeting pod were ready for operational testing.

LITENING is an electro-optical infrared sensor system for targeting and surveillance that enables aircrews to detect, acquire, identify and track targets at long ranges. LITENING enables a wide range of missions, including precision targeting, close air support, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and humanitarian assistance.  LITENING advanced targeting pods have more than three million operational hours and over one million hours in combat to their credit. For 20 years and counting, the LITENING team has delivered availability rate greater than 95%.  The current generation of LITENING features daylight and FLIR sensors with digital, color video in high definition, plug-and play data links and a modular design that is ready for evolving mission requirements.

High resolution sensors and powerful processors are at the heart of LITENING, but there’s more to the pod than its sharp vision. It’s a platform for the insertion of the latest mission-enabling technologies. LITENING’s modular, open systems architecture has consistently made it possible to add new capabilities quickly and affordably.  This philosophy of planned relevance is at the core of the roadmap that has guided – and continues to guide – LITENING development. As long as fourth generation aircraft are flying, LITENING will be ready to support their changing missions.

Some of the LITENING’s affordable firsts include:

  • Digital, high definition video in color
  • Color CCD, 1K MWIR and SWIR sensors
  • Simultaneous views from up to three sensors
  • Plug-and-play data links
  • Eye-safe laser training mode
  • Advanced 2-color laser designator
  • Multiple laser spot tracking

News Search