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Lockheed Martin's Sniper targeting pod has been integrated on US Air National Guard F-15Cs, a not-insignificant achievement as these air-superiority Eagles were never equipped to carry a targeting pod.Photos: Lockheed MartinNorth American Aerospace Defense Command's long-standing requirement for an improved sensor able to track slow-moving targets, such as drug-running aircraft flying low by night, became an urgent need when the Guard was given FY2010 funds to buy pods.Sniper was integrated and flown on the F-15C in just 89 days, allowing the Guard to obligate funds for the first 38 of 64 pods before the fiscal year ends on September 30. To do that, Lockheed Martin and the US Air Force's Warner Robins Air Logistics Center worked together to integrate the pod without touching the F-15's operational flight program.While Warner Robins wrote new software for the F-15C's situation-display processor to present the pod video in the cockpit, Lockheed wrote an "app" to host the Sniper operating software on the aircraft's existing Calculex digital video recorder. The datalink-equipped pod is carried on the F-15C's centerline pylon using an adapter developed to mount the Sniper under UK Royal Air Force Harriers for operations in Afghanistan.In addition to its peacetime application to homeland defense, Lockheed says the Air National Guard's plans are to continue to refine the pod integration to give the F-15Cs a full passive-attack capability in a wartime electronic-attack environment.
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