Skip to comments.Rafael scores pod mega-deal
Posted on 02/07/2014 10:01:11 AM PST by sukhoi-30mki
It looks as though Indian combat aircraft are going to continue flying for many years to come with Israeli designator pods. A Rafael official confirmed to Air&Cosmos during the Defexpo Show that the companys Litening G4 had been selected last year following an IAF call for tenders for 164 pods to equip its entire fleet of fighter-bombers. Deliveries under this huge order (the largest ever recorded outside the US, according to Rafael) are expected to get under way by the end of this year. When completed, they will bring the total number of Litening pods in IAF service to approximately 220.
The official indicated that the IAF plans to fit the new Litening G4 to its Jaguars, MiG-27s, Su-30MKIs and Mirage 2000s, the latter having been equipped several years ago with the earlier-generation Litening. This seems to extinguish any IAF prospects for Thales and its Damocles pod. Rafael also says it has had several preliminary discussions with Dassault concerning a possible integration of Litening on the Rafale.
The Rafael stand also featured the Reccelite reconnaissance pod, which retains the outer casing of the Litening but replaces certain components (including the laser designator) with higher-performance sensor and optics. Reccelite is believed to have entered service on IAF Jaguars several years ago.
Finally, the Israeli firm indicates that integration of the Derby and Python 5 missiles on Indias LCA Tejas combat aircraft should be complete by the year-end.
(English version by Duncan Macrae)
Did he get a new shell?.................