Rafael’s Litening targeting pod – Most loved battle equipment


We have all witnessed in the movies how bombs are dropped off during the combat from fighter aircraft

The protagonist creates huge blasts on the ground by just clicking a button and the way it is portrayed, it all seems so easy and simple. 

But is it all so easy and simple? It is astonishing to see the sophistication of technology and equipment that goes in a single drop of the missile and how much the technological advancements have upgraded the battlegrounds. It is also important to acknowledge the real heroes, the companies and the manufacturers who are pushing the boundaries continuously and are not stopping.

 Defense System
Rafael Air Defense System

One such invention, which took the air to ground combat by storm is Litening targeting pod. Litening targeting pod is one of the most famous and effective tools which play an important role during the attack and has also received loads of love from the defence forces all around the world. 

Air to ground combat requires instant action and precision. The identification of the targets in the given time frame plays the most crucial role in the destruction of the threat. Bombs cannot be dropped off anywhere and hence pilots have to make sure that the expensive missiles and weapons are killing the right targets.

Recognising the call for innovation, Israel began the research and development for the Litening targeting pod in 1992 and the project was awarded to Rafael, the Israel defence contractor. In the year 1995, this project was joined by Northrop Grumman, the American global aerospace and defence technology company and was jointly developed by both.

The main job of Litening targeting pod is to target and track the threats, which reduces the crew’s workload and helps them focus on other missions. This targeting pod is equipped with MWIR, SWIR, HD sensors and carries out multiple tasks like threat detection, identification, tracking multiple stationery as well as mobile targets and location extraction. Not only this, Litening targeting pod is supported by advanced image processing, which helps in generating extremely accurate coordinates of the target.   

The Litening targeting pod functions day and night, capable of rendering accurate information even in the harshest weather condition. The high-end sensors provide exceptional image quality of the threats, hence helping in minimizing the collateral damage. Another feature of this targeting pod is it is based on open architecture, which makes it future proof. The manufacturers have provided sufficient space inside the pod for future upgrades as per the requirements.

The pod is compatible with various fighter aircraft and is mounted externally.  Some of the hardware that goes in this pod comprises of a CCD camera and FLIR, which is stands for the forward-looking infrared sensor.

We can easily say that this was one of the most successful projects by Rafael, which managed to grab the world’s attention. Today, the Litening targeting pod have successfully logged more than 2 million flying hours worldwide. These pods are being used by 27 Air forces all around the world and the company has effectively delivered more than 800 pods to US Marine Corps, US Air National guards, USAF and other forces.

Visit rafael site to learn more about the company

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