Boeing has selected Lockheed Martin’s Legion Pod as the Infrared Search and Track (IRST) system for the U.S. Air Force’s F-15C fleet.
An engineering, manufacturing, development and production contract for Legion Pod will be awarded by Boeing in 2018.
Lockheed Martin will produce more than 130 systems, which will be delivered for aircraft integration. Equipped with the company’s IRST21 infrared sensor and advanced data processing capabilities, Legion Pod provides long-range detection and tracking of airborne threats in radar-denied environments.
“With a rapid delivery schedule and unmatched sensing capabilities, Legion Pod will immediately enhance our warfighters’ operations and address a passive attack capability gap,” said Paul Lemmo, vice president of Fire Control/Special Operations Forces Contractor Logistics Support Services at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in a company news release. “Our proven partnerships with Boeing, including on our U.S. Navy F/A-18E/F IRST21 and international F-15 IRST products, will ensure successful execution of the F-15C Legion Pod program for the U.S. Air Force.”
Lockheed Martin will deliver its first Legion Pod for the program in 2018, with additional deliveries planned for 2019. The company previously completed more than 25 flight tests with Legion Pod on the F-15C and F-16, successfully demonstrating its integration, detection and tracking capabilities.
Noteworthy as we have already explained U.S. Air National Guard F-15Cs already carry Lockheed Martin Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod which is part of the Passive Attack Sensor (PAS) modification.
The Sniper brings a lot of capability enhancements to the “Light Gray” (as the F-15C is dubbed by its aircrews). Actually as Lt. Col. Rob “Tigger” Swertfager, a 194th FS Eagle driver, told to Frank Crébas and Rich Cooper in the December 2016 issue of Combat Aircraft Monthly magazine the Sniper “is an amazing addition for us, in particular for our alert mission. It allows us to visual-identify (VID) aircraft at a distance and it provides a quick reconnaissance capability to the governor of California for our state mission.”
In fact the pod is a very useful tool not only for combat missions, as Swertfager explains. “For example, during an earthquake we have damage on a dam somewhere, we have the ability to scramble our F-15s and, using the new mod, quickly assess damage.”
Photo credit: Lockheed Martin, Senior Airman Trevor T. McBride and Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs / U.S. Air National Guard
Artwork courtesy of AircraftProfilePrints.com
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