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The RecceLite reconnaissance pod is now operational on German Tornados in Afghanistan.[Credit: Luftwaffe]The German government bought two of the systems to improve airborne intelligence gathering and augment film-based pods the Mazar-e-Sharif-based Luftwaffe Tornados had been using. Luftwaffe officials say that after a work-up period, the system is now operational and that the first night missions are also pending.The RecceLite introduces several advantages, including being able to datalink imagery to reduce the imagery exploitation timeline, but also the ability to operate at higher altitudes. The system, including ground infrastructure, also has tools to better exploit images taken from different angles, reducing time-over-target and the number of missions needed to image an area.The German air force says it will be able to use RecceLite for change detection and thereby scout for IEDs.Next year, Germany also plans to field the Heron UAV, which Rheinmetall is providing on a fee-for-service basis, to further improve its ISR commitment to NATO's operations in Afghanistan. Two systems are being deployed.
ar99, Afghanistan, Luftwaffe
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