HomeAbout UsFact SheetsDisplay

LITENING ADVANCE TARGETING

SOUTHWEST ASIA -- Lt. Col. Phil Guy prepares to take off in an F-16 Fighting Falcon.  The aircraft is loaded with two AIM-9 missiles and CBU-12 bombs with a Litening II targeting pod to get the precision-guided munitions to the intended target.  Guy is assigned to the 149th Fighter Squadron at Richmond, Va.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Lance Cheung)

SOUTHWEST ASIA -- Lt. Col. Phil Guy prepares to take off in an F-16 Fighting Falcon. The aircraft is loaded with two AIM-9 missiles and CBU-12 bombs with a Litening II targeting pod to get the precision-guided munitions to the intended target. Guy is assigned to the 149th Fighter Squadron at Richmond, Va. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Lance Cheung)

SOUTHWEST ASIA -- A-10 Thunderbolt IIs fly over the desert with LITENING, a precision targeting pod system. The pod, externally mounted to the aircraft, is equipped with a laser designator for precise delivery of laser-guided munitions and a laser rangefinder that provides information for various avionics systems.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Mark Bucher)

SOUTHWEST ASIA -- A-10 Thunderbolt IIs fly over the desert with LITENING, a precision targeting pod system. The pod, externally mounted to the aircraft, is equipped with a laser designator for precise delivery of laser-guided munitions and a laser rangefinder that provides information for various avionics systems. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Mark Bucher)

Mission
LITENING Advanced Targeting, or AT, is a precision targeting pod system operational with a wide variety of combat air forces aircraft (A-10A/C, B-52H, F-15E and F-16 Blocks 25-52) as well as aircraft operated by other services and allies (AV-8B, EA-6B, F-16 Block 15 and F/A-18). The system's advanced targeting and image processing techology significantly increases the combat effectiveness of the aircraft during day, night and under-the-weather conditions in the attack of ground targets with a variety of standoff weapons (i.e., laser-guided bombs, conventional bombs and GPS-guided weapons).

Features
Mounted externally,  LITENING AT is a targeting pod integrated with the aircraft. The targeting pod contains a high-resolution, mid-wave third generation, forward-looking infrared sensor, or FLIR, that displays an infrared image of the target to the aircrew.  It has a wide field of view search capability and a narrow field of view acquisition/targeting capability of battlefield-sized targets. The pod contains a charged coupled device or CCD-TV, camera used to obtain target imagery in the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. An on-gimbal inertial navigation sensor has established line-of-sight and automatic boresighting capability.

The system incorporates a mult-spectral capability with a high resolution, mid-wave, third-generation FLIR and CCD-TV.  The pod is equipped with a laser designator for precise delivery of laser-guided munitions and a laser rangefinder for precise target coordinates. For target coordination with ground and air forces, a laser spot tracker, a laser marker, and a fully operational remotely operated video enhanced receiver, or ROVER, compatible video down link improves rapid target detection/ identification.

For ease of maintenance, LITENING AT's modularity, optimal hardware partitioning, and diagnostic capabilities permit true two-level maintenance, eliminating intermediate-level support. Automated built-in test permits a flightline maintainer to isolate and replace a line replaceable unit, or LRU, in under 20 minutes to get the pod back up to full mission capable status. Spares are ordered through a user-friendly website offering in-transit visibility to parts shipment.  

Background
LITENING I was developed for the Israeli air force at Rafael Corporation's Missiles Division in Haifa, Israel. In 1995 Northrop Grumman Corporation's teamed with the company for further development. 

LITENING II was initially fielded with Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command F-16s in 1999 and employed a "256" FLIR. This was subsequently enhanced to the LITENING Enhanced Range, or ER, configuration by the incorporation of a third-generation "512" FLIR. Subsequent image processing enhancements led to the AT configuration that is now the standard for U.S. forces which began fielding in 2003. 

General Characteristics
Primary function:
  Infrared/electro-optical targeting; non-traditional intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance
Prime Contractor: Northrop Grumman Corporation 
Length: 87 inches (2.20 meters)
Diameter: 16 inches (0.406 meters)
Weight: 440 pounds (200 kilograms)
Aircraft: A-10A/A+/C, B-52H, F-15E, F-16 Block 25/30/32/40/42/50/52
Sensors: Infrared detector, CCD-TV camera, laser rangefinder and laser designator
Date Deployed: February 2000
Unit Cost: $1.4 million

(Current as of August 2015)

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @AETCommand: BIG change to the @usairforce's special warfare recruiting & initial training pipeline aimed at ensuring enlisted recruits…
This HGU-55/P helmet is fitted with a Hybrid Optical-based Inertial Tracker and day visor at Moody Air Force Base,… https://t.co/rMzsO03MLL
BRRRRRRTT The @A10DemoTeam travels the world showcasing the unique capabilities of the Thunderbolt II. The… https://t.co/giQWIwD0rA
Congratulations to @388fw and @419fw for reaching "full warfighting capability" with the F-35A Lightning II ✈️… https://t.co/5BwOupKSU7
Easy like Sunday morning. https://t.co/7Yp9fKDHnn
Congratulations to Air Force Civil Engineer Tim Sullivan, who was named the 2020 Federal Engineer of the Year! 🎉… https://t.co/tIafy8KqKs
Did you know anxiety and depression are invisible wound conditions that can affect our Airmen? They can manifest in… https://t.co/7TJn1CICbh
Airmen practice joint close air support during exercise Cope North 20 to improve combat readiness, develop integrat… https://t.co/GLpsJAlvCx
RT @inspire_af_: The @usairforce understands the importance of innovation, and @AETCommand is continuing to move towards student-centered l…
RT @AirmanMagazine: These @usairforce U-2 pilots fly at 70,000 ft, where they provide vital reconnaissance for U.S. combatant commanders.…
Spouses, family members, & caregivers are a vital part of the #AirForce family. They take care of us & we must take… https://t.co/ayzETFm5M1
The Air Force Gunsmith Shop recently released a redesigned M4 Carbine that will fit in most ejection seats. This Ai… https://t.co/f4UPJLlPxp
RT @AETCommand: Innovating in your everyday environment doesn't always lend itself to creativity! Check out the Spark Cell space at Altus…
.@USAFCENT Airmen refuel a KC-135 with a Force system in Southwest Asia. This new capability provides more efficien… https://t.co/fA2OARRUqj
RT @ArmedwScience: Civil engineering is a key part of a deployed environment. Listen as this airman explains the civil engineering capabili…
WATCH: @SecAFOfficial joins @SecArmy and @SECNAV for a discussion with @CSIS on the state of the services, defense… https://t.co/Vfk09EMBdP
Congratulations Capt Lockridge. #AimHigh https://t.co/fcJQi1vsFO
.@ABCSharkTank, anyone? The Air Force Spark Tank announced its 2020 selectees. 6 Airmen were selected to present… https://t.co/5aoPxZ2OTF
Capt Jessica Knizel was the first of 10 Air Force Aerospace Nurse Practitioners. To meet the qualifications, Kniz… https://t.co/hu2WXp8i8z