10/14/2006 - EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The delivery of 15 Revision-7 pods in September to the Air Combat Command by the 693rd Armament Systems Squadron's High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile Targeting System Program is more than two months ahead of Raytheon's contract requirement date.
The pod is mounted to the side of an F-16 aircraft and provides critical combat identification capabilities to pilots as they patrol the air above the battlefield. It allows a pilot to detect, locate and identify ground-based emitters. Armed with this data, a pilot can decide to avoid or engage a site.
Unlike previous versions of HTS that relied heavily on HARM's ability to track radiating targets to complete the kill chain, this precision targeting capability allows the use of a variety of precision guided munitions to destroy targets. Once global positioning system coordinates are obtained, they can be targeted regardless of whether the target is emitting. This is the first major leap for the Air Force in transitioning from a mindset of suppression of enemy air defenses to a destruction of enemy air defenses.
"The HTS has revolutionized combat and the tactics we employ in the air," said Lt. Col. Mike Jansen, 416th Flight Test Squadron commander. "The HTS will be a key component in building a battle order available to all forces on the net, ultimately saving lives and increasing air power effectiveness."
Equipped with upgraded hardware that features a GPS receiver, a digital receiver, a new power supply and a redesigned software load, the R7 is compatible with the latest M3.4-F-16 operational flight program software and will enable pilots to destroy hostile emitters once employed with the upcoming M4.2+ software release in May 2007.
"Everyone understood the importance of meeting ACC's delivery date, and they did everything humanly possible to make it happen. This team continues to deliver on its commitments," said Lt. Col. Al Iannaccone, 693rd ARSS commander.
The R7 HTS development effort was put on contract in 2001 and received clearance to proceed with a retrofit program in February 2005. The current Air Force inventory of 200 HTS R6 pods will be retrofitted to R7 during the next two years.