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Lockheed Martin to ramp up UK Sniper production

Seen being carried by a US Air Force F-16, the Sniper ATP is built in Florida in the US and Bedfordshire in the UK. Lockheed Martin is now ramping up UK component production to meet increased customer demand. (Lockheed Martin)

Lockheed Martin is building a new production line for AN/AAQ-33 Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP) components at its Ampthill, Bedfordshire site in the UK, seeking to meet anticipated demand from NATO allies and other customers for the system, the company has told Janes .

The UK-based work on Sniper supports the manufacturing activities at Ocala, Florida. This work has been expanded with a new production line at Ampthill that will focus on producing cabling to integrate the system into aircraft.

Stacy Kubicek, Lockheed Martin's vice-president and general manager – sensors and global sustainment, said the fresh investment is part of a wider strategy at Lockheed Martin. She placed it into the context of a shifting outlook among customers.

The Sniper ATP has a broader range of roles than targeting alone, Kubicek said, functioning as a communications and data-gathering and transmission system; the company expects increased demand for such functions as allied nations boost their focus on multidomain operations and joint all-domain command and control.

β€œWe have equipped it with advanced radio and datalink technologies that are connecting fourth- and fifth-generation aircraft,” she told Janes in mid-April. β€œThat means we're able to drive connectivity and transport data in a different way than we have been able to in the past.”

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