Northrop Grumman’s LITENING Targeting Pod Fleet Upgrading to Large Aperture by US Air Force

Northrop Grumman Corporation’s LITENING Large Aperture (LA) targeting pod, which incorporates significant enhancements in electro-optical/infrared sensing and processing capabilities, has been tapped by the U.S. Air Force for use across existing LITENING Targeting Pod inventory.


LITENING Large Aperture features new sensors and software which increase image resolution and target identification capabilities from stand-off ranges.
  • Digital, high-definition daylight and infrared sensors in multiple wavelengths increase the resolution of the pod, allowing imaging from greater stand-off ranges.
  • LITENING LA features faster video processing, greater image stabilization, enhanced pod command and control functions, and continuous roll for uninterrupted imaging during maneuvers
  • Enhanced air and ground targeting modes offer greater accuracy and tracking under challenging conditions.

Details on LITENING Targeting Pod 

LITENING LA is an electro-optical/infrared pod for targeting and surveillance that enables aircrews to detect, acquire, identify and track targets at long ranges.

It enables a wide range of missions, including precision targeting, close air support, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and humanitarian assistance.

The pod features high-resolution, digital color video and infrared sensors, datalink capability and advanced algorithms to detect, identify and engage targets from long ranges.

Moreover, a more powerful mission processor accelerates imaging functions and allows for future capabilities, including artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Notably, LITENING LA packages these enhanced capabilities in the same form factor as earlier versions of the pod, so aircraft on which LITENING has been integrated require no modifications.

Previous versions of the pod can be upgraded to the LA configuration.

Noteworthy, the US Air Force plans to integrate LITENING LA throughout its existing aircraft inventory, as it has done since first selecting LITENING in 1999.