Poland Approved To Purchase Sniper Targeting Pod

RMAF Hawk 208 M40-27 taxying at the RSAF Changi Air Base (East) in Singpore on May 4 as part of Bersama Lima 2023 exercise. Note the fixed refuelling probe on the side of the aircraft. RSAF picture.

SHAH ALAM: The US has approved the possible sale to Poland the Lockheed Martin Sniper advanced targeting pods for use on its South Korean FA-50 light combat aircraft. The costs for the 34 pods and related equipment are US$124.7 million (RM553 million).

The Sniper ATP

is an electro-optical targeting system housed in a single pod, charged with handling challenging precision targeting, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations, in air-to-air and air-to-ground missions, over land and sea. It features high definition sensors and a laser spot tracker,and can accurately support laser guided weapons and GPS guided weapons against multiple fixed and moving targets.

Polish Air Force FA-50 which was rolled out by KAI in March this year. KAI

The DSCA release:

WASHINGTON, May 9, 2023 – The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Poland of Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods and related equipment for an estimated cost of $124.7 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.

The Government of Poland has requested to buy thirty-four (34) AN/AAQ-33 Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods (ATP) with Shipping Containers. Also included are system support and support equipment; spare parts, consumables, accessories, and repair and return support; integration and test equipment and support; unclassified software delivery and support; unclassified Computer Program Identification Number (CPIN) systems; unclassified publications and technical documentation; personnel training and training equipment; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support. The estimated total cost is $124.7 million.

This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of a NATO Ally that is a force for political stability and economic progress in Europe.

The proposed sale will improve the tactical effectiveness of the FA-50 fighter aircraft that Poland is buying from the Republic of Korea by enhancing its abilities to identify targets, track, and engage from a standoff distance; it will also increase interoperability with U.S. and NATO forces. Poland will have no difficulty absorbing these articles into its armed forces.

South Korean Air Force TA-50 used for the Sniper ATP certification. KAI

KAI completed the certification of the Sniper ATP in January 2021. As you are aware, Poland originally ordered 12 FA-50s for US$705 million in 2022. These aircraft are in similar configuration to South Korean air force. Warsaw then ordered another batch of 36 FA-50s, to be delivered from 2025-2028 under a US$2.3 billion acquisition.
Korean Aerospace Industries FA-50PH. KAI

Polish media has reported that the second batch will be in the Block 20 configuration with air-to-air refuelling probe as well as Raytheon Phantom Strike AESA radar. This is same configuration of the FA-50 LCA ordered by RMAF from Korean Aerospace Industries.
The post on the refuelling probe on the South Korean Air Force FA-50.

Meanwhile a Twitter user @hornetysfs has posted pictures of a South Korean FA-50 with a refuelling probe. The post stated that the aircraft tail number 004 was the one fitted with the probe which is retracted down when not in use unlike the ones on RMAF Hawk 208s.
Hawk Mk 208 M40-33 from 6 Squadron at Subang airbase in 2018. Malaysian Defence

— Malaysian Defence

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  1. We have to thank the poles for shouldering the integration cost and we’re practicing riding on their programme

  2. That’s quite expensive, about 3.75 million USD per pod. That’s about 16 to 17 million MYR each! 200 million MYR will buy 11 to be shared between 36 airframes.

  3. I think buying 10 or 11 that’s the case if they do buy the pods. Which was the case with the Flankers and Hornets pods as well as the FLIR turret on the EC725. It was never one for one.

  4. another option that we can take is

    transfer the current Damocles pod from the MKM to the FA-50.

    buy new pods for MKM instead (talios maybe?)

    BTW how many Damocles pod do we have? From open sources we do know that we have 6x ATFLIR pods for F/A-18D Hornets.

  5. Yes, we could also take the Damocles for the FA-50s but then we must do the integration ourselves. Whether or not we could do it is of course another issue. I have no idea but I am guessing not more than ten.

  6. Remember folks Intergration cost for the phantomstrike & sniper targeting pod for the FA50 took 2 country committed to purchase 36 jet each, a whole lot of backroom political & commercial arms twisting & even then The purchase price is still double it’s off the shelf counterparts nor its capable of maritime strike just yet.

  7. Wong – ”transfer the current Damocles pod from the MKM to the FA-50.”

    Damocles is not a full fledged attack/nav pod [had this debate with ‘…’ years ago when he insisted] and it’s found wanting in various ways.

    We bought it because there was nothing else [the Russians had no pod] and later when the Rench bought it; it was only as an interim solution until a better performing pod was available.

  8. The price quoted is not just the price for the pod alone. Its for spares, trainning , maintenance , support, etc too. So ots not just the pod itself

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