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Northrop Grumman Litening constant evolution continues to meet the changing needs of warfighters.

| 2019

When Northrop Grumman delivered its first LITENING advanced targeting pod two decades ago, it brought unprecedented precision and situational awareness to strike, surveillance and humanitarian missions. With LITENING, pilots had a clearer picture than ever before, both day and night, and the ability to work more closely with forces on the ground to carry out precision strikes. Since that time, the pod has evolved to adapt to a changing world.

Northrop Grumman Litening constant evolution continues to meet the changing needs of warfighters The LITENING advanced targeting pod provides superior situational awareness and precision targeting for multiple missions (Picture source: Northrop Grumman)

“With LITENING, we have continued to field innovative capabilities first to address the changing missions of our customers,” said Brent Toland, vice president, land and avionics C4ISR, Northrop Grumman. “One of the keys to LITENING’s continued relevance is its modular design, making capability enhancements quick and affordable.”

The modular design of LITENING has enabled rapid evolution in sensors, pilot-vehicle interfaces and processing capabilities. The original pods contained 256-pixel FLIR sensors. Today, LITENING can provide digital, high definition video at four times that resolution. From design to implementation, the digital video capability was realized in just 12 months.

LITENING is the only targeting pod in the Department of Defense inventory that provides dedicated infrared, visible and laser apertures; an active short wave infrared sensor to enhance combat identification; and high-definition digital video to the cockpit.

LITENING is in service with all components of the combat Air Force, the Marine Corps and several international customers. Through its 24/7 logistics support program, LITENING maintains an availability rate in excess of 95 percent. The pod has been integrated on a wide range of platforms, including AV-8B, A-10, B-52, C-12, C-130, F-15, F-16, F/A-18, and MQ-9.

LITENING targeting pod features include:

Full 1K FLIR and CCD, the highest resolution available in any fielded targeting pod
Digital, high definition video to the cockpit
Laser imaging sensors for more accurate identification
Color symbology for reduced pilot workload and integration with new cockpit displays
Multiple fields of view for a complete view of the situation
Advanced two-way plug-and-play datalinks, including NET-T integration, that seamlessly communicate with ground stations
Flexible upgrade path to bring older pods to the latest configuration affordably.

The LITENING targeting pod is in service worldwide

The pod is currently flown by the U.S. Marine Corps, all components of the U.S. Air Force, and international customers. The latest configuration, LITENING G4, is authorized for export to NATO countries.

LITENING by the numbers

More than two million hours flown, including more than 800,000 combat flight hours
Greater than 97% availability
Integrated on the C-130, F-16, A-10, AV-8B, B-52, EA-6B, F-15E and F/A-18 C/D.
More than 500 LITENING G4 pods delivered
More than 800 pods total delivered

Support and upgrades

Northrop Grumman LITENING professionals are available around the clock to provide support, and a secure web portal has the latest news and software updates available for download. LITENING's modular design and flexible upgrade path allow operators to easily bring their existing pods up to the latest configuration.

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