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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
— Malaysian Defence