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Martin Marietta LANTIRN Navigation and Targeting System

DAYTON, Ohio - The LANTIRN Navigation and Targeting System on display in the Cold War Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio - The LANTIRN Navigation and Targeting System on display in the Cold War Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The Low-Altitude Navigation and Targeting InfraRed for Night system gives Air Force strike aircraft an accurate, night, low-altitude, precision bombing capability. The system consists of two externally-mounted pods carried on some fighter aircraft. LANTIRN was first employed during the Persian Gulf War.

Development of LANTIRN began in 1980, and the first production pod was delivered in 1987. The AAQ-13 navigation pod contains a Forward Looking InfraRed sensor (FLIR) and a Terrain Following Radar (TFR). FLIR imagery provides the pilot a view of terrain ahead of the aircraft at night. The TFR allows "hands-off" flight as low as 100 feet above the ground while avoiding obstacles in the aircraft's path. The AAQ-14 targeting pod has a FLIR and a laser designator/ranger to "illuminate" or mark the target for laser-guided bomb deliveries. The USAF ordered LANTIRN pods for F-15E and selected F-16C/D fighters.

The pods on display at the museum were received from the Martin Marietta Corp. in 1994. 

Click here to return to the Cold War Gallery.

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