Northrop Grumman, new sensors and software deliver improved range, resolution

Rolling Meadows, Ill. – Feb. 13, 2024 – Northrop Grumman Corporation’s (NYSE: NOC) LITENING Large Aperture (LA) targeting pod, which incorporates significant enhancements in electro-optical/infrared sensing and processing capabilities, has been tapped by the U.S. Air Force for use across existing LITENING inventory.

Digital, high-definition daylight and infrared sensors in multiple wavelengths increase the resolution of the pod, allowing imaging from greater stand-off ranges.

LITENING LA features faster video processing, greater image stabilization, enhanced pod command and control functions, and continuous roll for uninterrupted imaging during maneuvers

Enhanced air and ground targeting modes offer greater accuracy and tracking under challenging conditions.


James Conroy, vice president, electronic warfare and targeting, Northrop Grumman: “Just as the first LITENING targeting pod transformed close air support more than 20 years ago, LA’s passive targeting capabilities have the potential to change the way pilots approach combat in high-intensity conflicts. We are widening the aperture on how electro-optical/infrared targeting can contribute to mission success, with a more advanced and powerful pod.”

Details on LITENING:

LITENING LA is an electro-optical/infrared pod for targeting and surveillance that enables aircrews to detect, acquire, identify and track targets at long ranges. It enables a wide range of missions, including precision targeting, close air support, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and humanitarian assistance.

The pod features high-resolution, digital color video and infrared sensors, datalink capability and advanced algorithms to detect, identify and engage targets from long ranges. A more powerful mission processor accelerates imaging functions and allows for future capabilities, including artificial intelligence and machine learning.

LITENING LA packages these enhanced capabilities in the same form factor as earlier versions of the pod, so aircraft on which LITENING has been integrated require no modifications. Previous versions of the pod can be upgraded to the LA configuration.

The Air Force plans to integrate LITENING LA throughout its existing aircraft inventory, as it has done since first selecting LITENING in 1999.

Photo courtesy Northrop Grumman