Image of the Air Force wings with the museum name underneath

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Ford Aerospace AN/AVQ-26 Pave Tack

Pave Tack is a laser designator pod used with selected F-4E, RF-4C and F-111 aircraft for precision navigation, target location and target designation. The pod weighs 1,300 pounds and uses an imaging infrared thermal detector to provide a clear view of targets in day, night or adverse conditions. The large turret at the rear of the pod contains an infrared camera, laser rangefinder and laser designator. The laser designator is used to "illuminate" a target with coded laser energy, enabling a Laser Guided Bomb (LGB) to guide itself to a direct hit on the laser spot. The turret rotates in both pitch and roll, allowing the crew to continue designating a target even as the aircraft flies away from it. F-111F crews used Pave Tack during Operation Desert Storm to guide 2,000-pound LGBs against bridges and hardened aircraft shelters, and 500-pound LGBs against enemy armor -- destroying more than 1,000 tanks and vehicles.

The Pave Tack pod on display was received from the Avionics Directorate at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., in September 1991.

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