The US Air Force has announced that its latest infrared search and track sensor system, the Legion Pod, has been integrated into the F-15C Eagle. The technology has reached initial operating capability after achieving “minimum usefully deployable form.”
The sensor system utilizes the infrared spectrum to track and engage enemy aircraft in environments where conventional radar is denied.
The system will reportedly provide improved capability in monitoring enemy aerial assets from ranges where they normally go undetected, enhancing the fighter aircraft’s effectiveness and dominance.
“In today’s warfighting environment, not only do we have the capability and technology to jam and counter radar, but our enemies do, too,” Air Combat Command (ACC) branch chief Maj. Daniel Hermanski said in a press release. “This pod is the next step for countering jamming technology and allowing our warfighters to fight and track the enemy in contested environments.”
The sensor system is projected to reach full operating capability later this year.
In addition to tracking capability, the Legion Pod can accommodate additional sensors for improved capabilities with minimal aircraft modification. The pod also has a common interface, allowing it to be integrated with fighters such as the F-16 and F-15EX.
Lockheed said that the sensor system also boasts added sustainability since it comprises line-replaceable units that can be removed easily when repairs or upgrades are required.
ACC program element monitor Todd Mathes called the pod “a game-changer” since the capabilities it provides are critical to keeping the US Air Force at the leading edge of sensor systems.
“We work closely with our Air Force and industry partners to identify and eliminate gaps in our capabilities, which our enemies would attempt to exploit,” Mathes remarked. “This allows us to field and test new technologies to determine the best fit to give us an edge in battlefield decision making.”