Air Force History Air Force Careers Air Force Library Air Force Radio News Air Force TV News Air Force Art Air Force Photo Gallery Letters Air Force News Air Force Link Home Page Join the Air Force Contact Us Subscribe to our Mailing Lists Faq Page USAF Sites Search
Upper Naviation Image Map
Welcome to Air Force Link, the Official Site of the United States Air Force Click here for an explanation of the Air Force symbol. Welcome to Air Force Link, the Official Site of the United States Air Force
Bottom Navigation Image Map
 Fact Sheets  AF Fact Sheet
Special Topics
  AGM-130 Missile
  AGM-65 Maverick
  AGM-84D Harpoon Mi...
  AGM-86B/C Missiles
  AIM-7 Sparrow
  AIM-9 Sidewinder
  Joint Direct Attac...
  LG-118A Peacekeeper
  LGM-30 Minuteman III

Send feedback
View Larger

Fact Sheet Tools
 Printable Fact Sheet

LITENING II is a precision targeting pod system designed for Air Force Reserve's and Air National Guard's premier fighter aircraft -- the F-16 Block 25/30/32 Fighting Falcon. This precision targeting system significantly increases the combat effectiveness of the F-16 during day, night and under-the-weather conditions in the attack of ground targets with a variety of standoff weapons (i.e., laser-guided bombs, conventional bombs and Maverick missiles).

LITENING II is a targeting pod integrated and mounted externally beneath the aircraft just behind the air inlet. The targeting pod contains a high-resolution, forward-looking infrared sensor (FLIR) that displays an infrared image of the target to the pilot; it has a wide field of view search capability and a narrow field of view acquisition/targeting capability of battlefield-sized targets. The pod contains a charged coupled device (CCD-TV) camera used to obtain target imagery in the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. An on-gimbal inertial navigation sensor has established line-of-sight and automatic boresighting capability.

The pod is equipped with a laser designator for precise delivery of laser-guided munitions, a laser rangefinder provides information for various avionics systems, for example, navigation updates, weapon deliveries and target updates. The targeting pod includes an automatic target tracker to provide fully automatic stabilized target tracking at altitudes, airspeeds and slant ranges consistent with tactical weapon delivery maneuvers. These features simplify the functions of target detection and recognition, and permit pilots of single-seat fighters to attack targets with precision-guided weapons on a single pass.

The research and development program began at Rafael Corporation's Missiles Division in Haifa, Israel, with subsequent completion of LITENING I for use in the Israeli Air Force. In 1995 Northrop Grumman Corporation's Electronics and Systems Integration Division, Hawthorne, Calif., teamed with Rafael for sales of the LITENING pod for U. S. military aircraft operated by the U.S. government. Northrup Grumman Corporation completed product improvements on the "Basic Pod" including a third generation FLIR, laser marker and software upgrades (LITENING II).

The LITENING II pod first arrived at the Avionics Integration Systems Facility at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, in mid-February 1999, for initial interface testing, pilot familiarization and pilot vehicle interface design adjustment. The 301st Fighter Wing from Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth accepted delivery of the first four LITENING II targeting pods in late February 2000.

General Characteristics
Primary function: Navigation and infrared/electro-optical targeting
Prime Contractor: Northrop Grumman Corporation teamed with Rafael Corporation
Length: 87 inches (2.20 meters)
Diameter: 16 inches (0.406 meters)
Weight: 440 pounds (200 kilograms)
Aircraft: F-16 Block 25/30/32
Sensors: Infrared detector, CCD-TV camera, laser rangefinder and laser designator
Date Deployed: February 2000
Unit Cost: $1.4 million

Point of Contact
Air Combat Command, Public Affairs Office; 115 Thompson Street, Suite 211; Langley AFB, VA 23665-1987; DSN 574-5007 or (757) 764-5007.

March 2003

Solid black spacer
Please read the security and privacy notice Top>