Enhancing weapon aiming and imaging capabilities on the Tornado GR4
In support of Op TELIC, QinetiQ, acting as system integrator for this Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) programme, has successfully integrated a LITENING III pod onto the Tornado GR4 to provide enhanced target designation for weapon aiming and effectiveness. Initial in-theatre feedback also indicates that the results are of the highest quality.
The work commenced in September 2006 and the resulting operational capability was delivered in theatre at the end of January 2007. QinetiQ, in partnership with the RAF Joint Test & Evaluation Group, under contract from the Tornado IPT, carried out an extensive series of rig, ground and eventual UK based flight trials at MOD Boscombe Down. This involved working closely with 41(R) Squadron Fast Jet & Weapons Operational Evaluation Unit and integrating the modified LITENING III pod onto an in-service Tornado GR4 and with the main on-board computer software provided by the RAF Tornado In-Service Software Maintenance Team (TISMT). In addition, QinetiQ also ensured that the pod was fully qualified for flight and cleared for use with all onboard systems and in service weapons.
“This is yet another example of how QinetiQ is leveraging its knowledge and expertise to meet particular UOR needs and deliver enhanced capabilities to UK forces operating in areas of conflict,” explained Tony Wall, MD of QinetiQ’s air division. “In addition to exceeding technical and operational expectations we also understand that our solution was delivered against extremely demanding timescales and a challenging customer budget.”
“The commander-in-chief STC and his team were unanimous in their praise for all the hard work that has been carried out on the programme,” added Air Cdre Jeremy Fradgley, assistant chief-of-staff, test & evaluation. “The new capability looks most promising and will do much to improve our ability to support land forces - indeed, it will represent a step change in the way we operate and train for the future.”
The LITENING III is the latest generation of targeting and navigation pod that delivers laser spot detection and tracking, and long-range data and video downlink.