Monday, May 12, 2008

Singapore Adding Sniper ATP Pods to its F-16s

Lockheed Martin has orders for Sniper ATPs from 9 international customers (Belgium, Britain – Harriers only, may add Tornado aircraft, Canada, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Saudi Arabia, and of course Singapore), and from the USAF, whose F-15E Strike Eagles have found them very useful in Iraq.

Singapore has used RAFAEL’s LITENING surveillance and targeting pods on its F-16s for a number of years. In 2006, however, the city-state elected to equip its new F-15SG Strike Eagles with Lockheed Martin’s long-range Sniper ATP pods instead. Now the MINDEF has decided to add Sniper ATP pods to its 2-seat Lockheed Martin F-16D Block 52+ fighters, which may become part of a broader F-16 modernization drive.

RAFAEL/Northrop Grumman’s LITENING pod family had defined this market for a long time thanks to its affordable pricing and a wide feature set, and it is still receiving international orders as Northrop Grumman prepares to roll out a 4th generation version. Lockheed’s Sniper ATP appears to be mounting a very strong bid to secure future leadership in this segment, however, and the total value of its 2001 USAF contract alone could exceed $850 million.

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