$77.5M for 27 ATFLIR Pods
Dec 26/07: Raytheon Co. in El Segundo, CA receives a $77.5 million modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-06-C-0310), exercising an option for 27 Full Rate Production Lot 6 AN/AAQ-228 Advanced Targeting Forward Looking InfraRed pods for the F/A-18 A-D Hornet and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft. Work will be performed in El Segundo, CA (60%) and McKinney, TX (40%), and work is expected to be completed in November 2010. The Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River, MD issued the contract.
ATFLIR replaces 3 pods on the F/A-18: the TFLIR targeting FLIR, the navigation FLIR and the laser designator tracker. ATFLIR’s magnification is 30x-60x versus previous FLIR capabilities at 4x; it will also provide GPS coordinates to precision weapons such as JSOW and JDAM, and can stream video feed via the ROVER link to JTAC forward air controllers or to command centers.
ATFLIR has receives fine reviews from pilots in theater, but to date it has only been integrated into F/A-18 family aircraft (US Navy, US Marines, ordered by Australia & Switzerland). Its competitors have been integrated with several other aircraft types, and even some F/A-18 fleets fly with NGC/RAFAEL’s LITENING (Australia, Spain, Finland) or Lockheed Martin’s Sniper ATP (Canada). F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet fleets use only ATFLIR, however; even LITENING customer Australia will be buying ATFLIR pods for its 24 F/A-18F Block II Super Hornets.