Lockheed Martin’s reported Monday that its Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod is compatible with Maverick missiles mounted on an A-10C Warthog. During an August test at Eglin AFB, Fla., Air Force Materiel Command’s 46th Test Wing and 40th Flight Test Squadron launched the Maverick missile that was sitting 15 inches from the Sniper on the A-10C wing pylon. “The ability to fire missiles so close to the Sniper ATP uniquely qualifies Sniper for this weapon configuration, doubling the previous A-10C Maverick loadout capabilities,” according to a Lockheed statement. The test proved that the A-10 can fire laser guided and J-series weapons along with existing close air support weapons. Plans call for testing Sniper with the B-1B bomber this month.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.