Litening V pod nears entry to RAF squadron service

The Litening V advanced targeting pod designed by Israel’s Rafael is about to enter squadron service with the Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4s of the UK Royal Air Force (RAF).

The Litening III targeting pod currently used by RAF Typhoons was originally carried by the service’s Panavia Tornado GR4s, which were retired in April 2019. With two crewmembers the GR4s could dedicate their weapon systems officer to working the targeting pod, but this imposes a greater workload on the single pilot of a Typhoon.

RAF Typhoon with Litening pod
The Litening targeting pod is carried under the fuselage of the RAF's Typhoon fleet, with the upgrade offering enhancement search and tracking capabilities. UK MOD/Crown copyright

“The Litening V is going to the front line for squadron training imminently, set for February,” Andrew Mallery-Blythe, Typhoon Operational Requirements Manager at BAE Systems – Air, told Key.Aero on January 24. He noted that the pod has been with the RAF’s No 41 Test and Evaluation Squadron (TES) for around 18 months for minor tweaks and to clear it for squadron service.

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