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Leonardo laser target designators selected for Australian Defence Force…

23 Feb 2022

…while Northrop Grumman contracted to equip US Marine Corps with handheld targeting devices.

Defense technologies developer Leonardo Australia has signed an agreement with Collins Aerospace Australia to supply Type 163 Laser Target Designators (LTDs) to the Australian Defence Force (ADF). The order will be fulfilled in the second quarter of 2022. This order follows an earlier order by the ADF.

More than 800 units of Leonardo’s Type 163 LTDs have already been delivered to 27 countries, including the the US, UK, Canada, and New Zealand, as well as NATO members such as Italy, France, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands and, most recently, Germany and Norway.

Developed by Leonardo engineers in Edinburgh, UK, the Type 163 Laser LTD is a lightweight, high-energy laser system designed for use by ground forces. The Type 163 is specified to meet the mission requirements of special and conventional force Joint Terminal Attack Controllers and Joint Fires Observers. These include marking and terminally controlling semi-active air-to-ground weapons accurately onto the target at ranges up to 10km.

The Type 163 LTD exploits Leonardo’s experience in providing targeting lasers for aircraft such as the F-35 and Apache helicopter, where space, weight and power are at a premium. This means that the resulting product is able to deliver market-leading laser-designation and range finding capabilities in a compact package weighing just 2.3kg.

The product produces a high-energy laser with a narrow beam divergence and its feature set, developed with a focus on JTAC and JFO missions, includes immediate firing from switch-on and a continuous lasing capability.

Northrop Grumman supplies US Marine Corps with targeter

Northrop Grumman is to provide the US Marine Corps with its Next Generation Handheld Targeting System (NGHTS). This compact targeting device offers precision targeting and can operate in GPS-denied environments.

“NGHTS will significantly enhance the ability of Marines to identify ground targets under a wide range of conditions,” commented Bob Gough, VP, Navigation, Targeting and Survivability.

“Connected to military networks, NGHTS provides superior situational awareness and accurate coordinates for delivery of effects beyond the line of sight.”

NGHTS is capable of performing rapid target acquisition, laser terminal guidance operation and laser spot imaging functions. Its high-definition infrared sensors provide accuracy and grid capability over extended ranges. Additional features include a high-definition color display and day/night celestial compasses.

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