Air Force asks Boeing for compact laser targeting system for forward-deployed combat controllers

ORLANDO, Fla., 22 Feb. 2013. The Boeing Co. Defense, Space & Security segment in Orlando, Fla., will provide the U.S. Air Force with a lightweight, compact laser targeting system under terms of a $3 million contract announced this week to help direct Air Force combat controllers direct combat aircraft pilots to their correct targets.

The contract calls for Boeing to design and build the Line of Sight-Short (LOS-S) electro-optical integrated targeting system. With options the contract potentially is worth $100 million, Boeing officials say.

LOS-S, an evolution of a previous acquisition, offers improved target detection, recognition, laser designation and friendly-fire avoidance capabilities in a single lightweight unit.

LOS-S supports the Air Force's Battlefield Air Operations Kit Program and its goal of upgrading the battlefield airman's equipment suite.

Air Force combat controllers are part of the service's Battlefield Airmen organization, who are the special operations force of the Air Force. They include combat controllers (CCT), para-rescumen (PJ), tactical air control party members (TACP) and special operations weather technicians (SOWT).

The Line of Sight-Short (LOS-S) targeting system is designed to replace three separate devices with a 3-in-1 lightweight integrated targeting device (ITD).

We want to combine those three functions into one device and go from 35 pounds of legacy equipment to under 10 pounds is the goal, said Air Force Lt. Joe Grunwaldt, program manager power generation and management in an interview last may with SoldierMod.com.

LOS-S "is a great SA tool and if you can combine all three in one and hook it up with your computer it makes digitally aided CAS [close-air support] possible and we move forward,” Grunwaldt said.

Boeing's LOS-S solution will reduce weight from today’s 35 pounds to about eight pounds.

"LOS-S provides the Air Force intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting in one easy-to-use, lightweight, hand-held device," says Mike Hettmann, general manager of Boeing subsidiary Argon ST and director of Tactical Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance.

For more information contact Boeing Defense, Space & Security online at www.boeing.com/bds, Argon ST at www.argonst.com.

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