Sniper Pod from Lockheed Martin makes first deployment in combat operations with Air National Guard

ORLANDO, Fla., 4 Dec. 2010. The South Carolina Air National Guard returned from a combat deployment using Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] Sniper pods on the F-16 Fighting Falcon. This marks the first time Sniper pods have been used in combat by an Air National Guard unit. While in theater, the 169th Fighter Wing used the Sniper pod's non-traditional intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (NTISR) capabilities, relaying high-resolution streaming video for rapid coordination with ground troops.

Dec 4th, 2010
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Posted by John McHale

ORLANDO, Fla., 4 Dec. 2010. The South Carolina Air National Guard returned from a combat deployment using Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] Sniper pods on the F-16 Fighting Falcon. This marks the first time Sniper pods have been used in combat by an Air National Guard unit. While in theater, the 169th Fighter Wing used the Sniper pod's non-traditional intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (NTISR) capabilities, relaying high-resolution streaming video for rapid coordination with ground troops.

"The Sniper pod did exactly what we needed it to do," says Brig. Gen. Scott Williams, commander, 169th Fighter Wing, South Carolina Air National Guard. "For a pod that was designed to destroy enemy air defenses and surface-to-air missiles, it has great capability for non-traditional ISR, which we've proved over the last four months in Iraq."

"The Air National Guard is an important Sniper operational user, with a significant number of video data link-equipped pods," says Mark Fischer, senior business development manager at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "The 169th Fighter Wing was the first F-16 Block 50/52 unit operational with Sniper for the destruction of enemy air defenses mission, and they are very experienced with its capabilities."

The 169th Fighter Wing reported that, during its deployment, the Sniper pod's track capability saved lives by enabling point-of-origin searches that rapidly determined the source of mortar attacks and successfully tracked enemy combatants in cluttered environments. F-16s with Sniper pods also served as a line of defense by monitoring forward refueling points, where troops and aircraft can be vulnerable while preparing for follow-on missions.

In theater across U.S. Air Force F-16, F-15E, A-10C and B-1 aircraft, the Sniper pod is also being integrated on the B-52. The Sniper pod maintains a 98 percent fleet availability rate, and Lockheed Martin continues to field key technology upgrades.

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