ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill., Dec. 19, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- One of the most capable precision target designation and navigation systems currently available to U.S. and allied fighter pilots, Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) LITENING system, has been improved with the addition of enhanced video processing capabilities.
The upgraded system, known as LITENING Advanced Targeting (AT), makes use of new circuitry and algorithms that extend target detection range and improve target coordinate generation accuracy to support weapons guided by Global Positioning Systems (GPS).
"This latest upgrade demonstrates Northrop Grumman's continuing commitment to applying edge-of-the-envelope technology to address our military customers' evolving combat requirements," said Michael Lennon, vice president of Targeting and Surveillance Programs at Northrop Grumman's Defensive Systems Division in Rolling Meadows. "We want to ensure that our customers have the world's most sophisticated precision targeting system to perform their missions."
LITENING AT is a self-contained, multisensor laser target designating and navigation system that enables fighter pilots to detect and identify ground targets for highly accurate delivery of both conventional and precision-guided weapons. In addition to improvements in its video processing capabilities, the LITENING AT also features enhanced algorithms that allow for multitarget cueing and enhanced air-to-air performance.
LITENING AT has successfully completed the initial evaluations at the Air National Guard/Air Force Reserve Test Center in Tucson, Ariz., with additional testing expected in March 2003 as part of the incremental update/test process. Production of LITENING AT systems and retrofit kits is anticipated to begin in the first quarter of 2003.
The LITENING AT is an upgrade to the LITENING Extended Range (ER) pod, which features a 640 x 512 pixel Forward-Looking Infrared (FLIR) camera; charge-coupled device television; laser spot tracker/range finder; IR marker; and a laser designator. The LITENING ER pod is itself an upgrade to the LITENING II pod.
Both LITENING II and LITENING ER pods are currently fielded with Air National Guard/Air Force Reserve Command (ANG/AFRC) F-16s, and AV-8Bs operated by the U.S. Marine Corps. LITENING II is operational with the Italian and Spanish navies, and both are considering upgrades. LITENING II and LITENING ER have seen combat duty supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. At present, half of the Air National Guard's stated requirement for precision targeting is being met by Northrop Grumman LITENING pods.
Northrop Grumman's Defensive Systems Division is part of the company's Baltimore, Md.-based Electronic Systems sector, a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of defense electronics systems including airborne radar systems, navigation systems, electronic warfare systems, precision weapons, airspace management systems, air defense systems, communications systems, space systems, marine systems, oceanic and naval systems, logistics systems, and automation and information systems.
CONTACT: Katie Lamb Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems (847) 259-9600, ext. 3542