Five Czech Air Force JAS 39C fighters began a four-month rotation of NATO’s Baltic air policing mission on 1 September in their first operation with their new Rafael Litening 4i laser targeting pods.
The aircraft are armed with their usual cannons: the AIM-9 Sidewinder and AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs).
“The pods will be used mainly for long-range visual detection of aircraft during the day and at night,” said Major Tomáš Maruščák, spokesperson of the general staff of the Czech Armed Forces. This means the pods will not be used to designate ground targets during the Baltic air policing mission. Instead, aircraft detection and airspace control will be conducted using the pod’s charge-coupled device (CCD) high-definition colour camera and forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensor.