Intelligence: April 12, 2003


The U.S. Navy has received the first two SHARP (Shared Reconnaissance Pod) pods. They are about the size of a one ton fuel tank carried by naval aircraft. The SHARP will replace the older TARP pods carried by F-14s. The SHARP pod will be able to transmit video and radar images in real time via a satellite link. The pod camera is equipped to accurately capture images of items of up to 27 kilometers away. There is also a night (infrared) capability. The images can be checked by the pilot, and is stored in the pod as well as transmitted via the satellite link. A more powerful version of the SHARP pod equipment is also being built for use in four engine P-3 reconnaissance aircraft. The P-3 camera would have a 90 kilometers range. The SHARP pod will be carried on an F-18.


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