Operating and recapitalization costs for front-line fighters are up in the stratosphere, even as a wide variety of conflicts around the world fit counterinsurgency profiles requiring affordable, persistent surveillance and rapid fire support. UAVs are filling an important niche, and their success is triggering major bureaucratic showdowns in response, but they remain expensive, are much more crash-prone than manned aircraft, and offer a limited field of view.
The new, fully digitized system is part of the Improved Targeting Geolocation Accuracy (ITGA) program, is comprised of a suite of new lightweight, fully integrated digital hardware and software. At the heart of the system is a tablet computer that hosts the Rockwell Collins Rosetta Joint Fires (RJF) software package. RJF provides targeting and communication capabilities and acting as an integration gateway for future systems; it also allows British FAC/FOOs to exchange 9-15 line FAC targeting messages with all U.S. aircraft, as well as an increasing number of compatible coalition forces. Other ITGA components include the Sagem Defense Securite JIM LR (Jumelles Integrees Multifonction – Long Range) targeting binoculars, and the Rockwell Collins Azimuth Augmentation system to correct laser range finder inaccuracies and offer military GPS-guided precision – a role it shares with the Rockwell Collins Defense Advanced GPS Receiver (DAGR).
The majority of work for this program will be done at the Rockwell Collins UK Ltd. Facility in Reading, England. Rockwell Collins release.