Test officials at Edwards AFB, Calif., have wrapped initial testing of the Sniper targeting pod on a B-1B bomber, expressing optimism that the results could point toward full integration. Maj. Joshua Lane, chief of standardization and evaluation with the 419th Flight Test Squadron, explained that the B-1B with its large and diverse weapon payload capability is an obvious choice for the new targeting pod, which provides a 360-degreee sensor view for positive target identification. The initial testing showed that the pod, which was attached to the left hand chin on existing mounting points, did not disrupt air flow, meaning weapons released cleanly. More testing is in store, but Lane said, “The initial demonstration was very successful and shows promise for full integration onto the B-1 bomber.”
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.