Egypt getting more LANTIRN targeting pods


Egypt is due to receive 65 LANTIRN targeting pods from the United States under the Excess Defense Articles (EDA) programme.

This is according to the EDA database, which notes that the 65 ‘first generation’ LANTIRN pods will come from US Air Force stocks. Authorisation for their supply was dated 5 July 2016, with 65 pods requested and 65 allocated to Egypt.

The Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night (LANTIRN) navigation and targeting pod system allows the host aircraft to fly at low altitudes, at night and under-the-weather to attack ground targets with a variety of precision-guided weapons. The system, made by Lockheed Martin, comprises the AN/AAQ-13 navigation pod (with terrain-following radar and thermal camera) and AN/AAQ-14 targeting pod (containing a forward looking infrared sensor, laser designator/rangefinder, missile guidance and target tracking systems).

Egypt will most likely use the LANTIRN system on its fleet of F-16 Fighting Falcon jets. Egypt has previously ordered Lockheed Martin’s AN/AAQ-33 Sniper targeting pod, which succeeded the LANTIRN system. The Sniper pod, bought for 20 Egyptian Block 50/52 F-16s in 2011, features a laser designator, forward looking infrared (FLIR) imager and CCD camera as well as a video datalink.

Egypt also uses the Goodrich Corporation DB-110 airborne reconnaissance system for its F-16s, and was the eighth country to select the pod.

A large F-16 operator, the Egyptian Air Force received 220 F-16A-Ds from the United States from the early 1980s as part of the Peace Vector programme and another 20 Block 50/52 F-16C/Ds were ordered in 2013, with deliveries concluding in October 2015.