Air Force Orders Up Jet Targeting Systems

<i> Associated Press</i>

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Martin Marietta Corp. a $125.9-million contract for new LANTIRN jet targeting systems, which have been used in Operation Desert Storm, the company said.

LANTIRN, which stands for Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared System for Night, is designed to enable pilots to fly beneath enemy radar in total darkness at speeds above 500 miles per hour. The Air Force is installing the systems on all F-15E and F-16C and D aircraft.

Persian Gulf commander Norman Schwarzkopf recently credited the systems with enabling allied pilots to hit 11 Iraqi Scud missile launchers.

Under the new contract, Martin Marietta will provide 65 additional LANTIRN systems. The company, one of the nation’s largest military contractors, previously had sold the Air Force about 500 systems, Martin Marietta spokesman Tom Duncan said.


He said the latest order was an option under a previous routine contract, which the Air Force has been exercising every year since 1985.

Under an agreement with the federal government, Martin Marietta also provides LANTIRN systems to Turkey, South Korea, Israel and Egypt.