Finmeccanica's Man-Portable Laser Target Designator A Favorite of Spl Forces, Claims Company
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05:52 PM, December 7, 2016
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Type 163 Laser Target Designator
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Over 250 units of Leonardo Finmeccanica's Man-portable Laser Target Designator (LTD) have been procured over the last two years, following a surge in orders for the product.

10 customers in the US and Europe have now procured the high-energy, man-portable laser systems, the company announced today.

The contracts are a boost for Leonardo’s laser business which encompasses around 75% of the global market for high-energy military lasers.

Leonardo’s Type 163 LTD has been designed to support Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs), the military service members responsible for supporting fellow troops by directing close air support.

Traditionally, laser target designators have proved too heavy and bulky for JTACs to take into front-line operations, causing problems with target identification in close combat operations.

Leonardo introduced the Type 163 LTD as a solution to this problem, building on its previous experience in the military lasers market where size, weight and power requirements are critical, the company announced Wednesday.

The system provides laser-designation and range-finding in a highly-portable (less than 2.3kg) package. Since being introduced, Type 163 LTDs have been proven in action with US Special Operations Forces (SOF), who has used them continuously for the past two years on combat operations in Afghanistan and the Middle East.

Several further US Department of Defense services have followed Special Operations Forces in selecting the Type 163 LTD including US Air Force JTACs and parts of the US Air National Guard. Other nations are also actively using the Type 163 LTD and have benefitted from the system’s immediate and accurate target identification capabilities.

The company provides targeting lasers for the F-35 aircraft, Apache helicopter and for the Northrop Grumman Litening and Lockheed Martin Sniper targeting pods.

The Type 163 is typically a third of the size of competing land-based systems, includes immediate firing from switch-on and a continuous lasing capability, and produces a high-energy laser with a narrow beam divergence.

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