• The Type 163 LTD was developed with a focus on JTAC and JFO missions. (Leonardo)
    The Type 163 LTD was developed with a focus on JTAC and JFO missions. (Leonardo)

Leonardo Australia has signed an agreement with Collins Aerospace Australia to supply Type 163 Laser Target Designators (LTDs) to the Australian Defence Force (ADF). The order will be fulfilled in the second quarter of 2022. This order follows an earlier order by the ADF.

Leonardo Australia will provide the system to the Land 17 Phase 2 Digital Terminal Control System – Capability Assurance Program. 

Developed by Leonardo engineers in Edinburgh, UK, the Type 163 Laser LTD is a lightweight, compact, high-energy laser product for use by ground forces that offers 'an unparalleled combination of high power, reliability and portability'. According to Leonardo, the Type 163 laser target designator has been designed specifically to meet all of today’s special and conventional force Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs) and Joint Fires Observers (JFOs) mission requirements for marking and terminally controlling Semi-Active Air-to-Ground weapons accurately onto the target at ranges up to 10 kilometres. 

The Type 163 LTD exploits Leonardo’s experience in providing high-energy targeting lasers for aircraft such as the F-35 and Apache helicopter, where space, weight and power are at a premium. This means that the resulting product is able to deliver 'market-leading laser-designation and range finding capabilities' in a compact package weighing just 2.3 kilograms. The product reportedly produces a high-energy laser with a narrow beam divergence and its feature set, developed with a focus on JTAC and JFO missions, includes immediate firing from switch-on and a continuous lasing capability.

More than 800 units of the Type 163 LTD have together been delivered to 27 countries, including the UK, the US, Canada and New Zealand, as well as NATO members such as Italy, France, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands and most recently Germany and Norway.

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