ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill., Oct. 10, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) today announced the successful demonstration of the company's LITENING Advanced Targeting (AT) system, the only targeting and sensor pod invited by the U.S. Air Force to participate in Bold Quest, a U.S. Joint Forces Command-sponsored military exercise.
During the joint forces exercise, an enhanced LITENING AT demonstrated advanced targeting, surveillance and net-centric warfighting capabilities. Employing advanced targeting identification and omni-directional data link technologies, the LITENING AT pod positively identified targets and provided encrypted, bi-directional airborne transmission of streaming video and bi-directional cursor-on-target metadata-tagged still imagery at full sensor resolution. This technology allowed ground forces to receive imagery and its associated geo-positional data for battlefield situational awareness, aircraft position, sensor point of interest and target selection. In addition, target identification and data link transmission ranges significantly exceeded the ranges currently provided by other targeting pods.
"A targeting pod designed for a specific requirement or user may be adequate today, but as history has shown us, such an application can quickly become obsolete as rapidly developing targeting and surveillance technologies mature," said Mike Lennon, vice president of Targeting and Surveillance programs for Northrop Grumman's Defensive System Division. "LITENING's demonstrated spiral development concept and ability to rapidly integrate, test and field advanced technologies ensures our warfighters will have unprecedented situational awareness, target coordination and first pass weapon deliveries both today and, more importantly, tomorrow."
Northrop Grumman's widely fielded LITENING AT system is a self-contained, multi-sensor weapon-aiming system that enables aircrews to detect, acquire, auto-track and identify targets for highly accurate delivery of both conventional and precision-guided weapons. LITENING AT features advanced image processing for target identification; coordinate generation for GPS weapons; a new 1,024 x 1,024 pixel charge-coupled device television sensor; a laser spot tracker; and an infrared laser marker. The LITENING 4th Generation system, which will be delivered to U.S. forces next year, will add the most advanced 1,024 x 1,024 pixels (1k x 1k) FLIR sensor for improved target detection and recognition ranges under day and night conditions; new sensors for improved target identification; and other advanced target recognition and identification features.
To date, almost 500 LITENING AT pods have been ordered by the U.S. forces and allied nations and more than 400 systems have been fielded, the largest number of any advanced targeting and sensor system. LITENING AT is combat proven on AV-8B, A-10A/A+/C, B-52, F-15E, F-16 blocks 25/30/40/50 and F/A-18 aircraft. Together, all variants of the LITENING pod have amassed more than 720,000 flight hours, approximately half of which have been logged under deployed and combat conditions. LITENING recently set a world record for targeting pod availability by providing 95 percent availability consecutively for over two years. The LITENING targeting system is currently deployed with the Air Force's Air Combat and Air Force Reserve Commands, U.S. Air National Guard and the U.S. Marine Corps, as well as allied users.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 billion global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.
CONTACT: Ellen Hamilton Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems (224) 625-4693 firstname.lastname@example.org