BY John Keller
QUANTICO MARINE BASE, Va.-U.S. Marine Corps leaders are asking Kollsman Inc., an Elbit Systems of America company in Merrimack, N.H., to design and build a pocket-size laser target designator and marker to enable Marines in the field to designate targets for laser-guided bombs, missiles, and other munitions.
The Marine Corps System Command at Quantico Marine Base, Va., awarded Kollsman a $9.6 million contract to build the Joint Terminal Attack Controller Laser Target Designator (JTAC LTD) to meet an urgent universal need, Marine Corps officials say. The JTAC LTD is a lightweight, battery-powered laser target designator and marker small enough to fit in a Marine Corps infantryman's flak jacket pocket.
|U.S. Marines soon may have pocket-size devices for guiding laser-guided bombs, such as the one shown above being dropped from a U.S. F-15 fighter bomber.|
The system, which capitalizes on some of the latest advances in laser generation and battery power technologies, enables Marines to provide precision terminal guidance for laser-guided missiles, bombs, and other munitions that are homing in on enemy targets.
The contract calls for Kollsman engineers to build three first article units, 150 production units of the JTAC LTD, as well as spares and training. The JTAC LTD gives Marines fighting on foot a laser-guided weapons designation and marking capability that can be worn in modular lightweight load-carrying equipment (MOLLE) pouches on flak jackets, or carried in cargo pockets.
The JTAC LTD marks targets for laser handoff to laser spot trackers (LSTs), and to designate targets by providing terminal guidance to U.S. and NATO laser-guided weapons. It emits a 1,064-nanometer laser to provide terminal guidance to laser-guided munitions, as well as an 810-to-870-nanometer laser that acts as an infrared pointer.
The unit is rugged enough for all modes of air, land, and sea transport, and can be carried by Marines during parachute, swimming, and underwater operations. The Marine Corps JTAC LTD is not intended to replace full-power laser target designators like the AN/PEQ-17 portable lightweight designator rangefinder (PLDR).
Kollsman will do the work on this contract in Merrimack, N.H. Work should be finished by March 2016.
DRS to provide electro-optical components for Army Raytheon LRAS3
Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) systems integrators at the Raytheon Co. Network Centric Systems segment in McKinney, Texas, needed military electro-optical subassemblies for the U.S. Army Long Range Advanced Scout Surveillance System (LRAS3).
They found their solution from the DRS Reconnaissance, Surveillance & Target Acquisition (RSTA) Technologies group in Melbourne, Fla. Raytheon Network Centric Systems awarded DRS RSTA a $20.3 million order for integrated optical benches, telescope/afocals, vehicle-mounted yokes, stovepipes, and other components of the LRAS3, an infrared sensor system that helps Army combat vehicle crews detect, recognize, identify, and pinpoint targets at long ranges. Typical users of the Raytheon LRAS3 surveillance and reconnaissance system are Army scouts operating Stryker and Humvee combat vehicles looking for enemy positions and activities while remaining outside the ranges of enemy weapons.