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Tactical illumination enhances target detection and identification by providing an artificial light that illuminates the battlefield using visible or infrared light.
Northrop Grumman will provide illuminating flares for the US Army’s Tactical Aviation and Ground Munitions’ (TAGM) unguided Hydra-70 Rocket program.
The five-year indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract was awarded by General Dynamics – Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GD-OTS).
The Hydra-70 is a family of 2.75in/70mm unguided air-to-ground rocket system, used to perform various roles, including anti-material, anti-personnel, air-to-ground suppression and illumination. It has two main components, including the MK66 rocket motor and various warheads. Hydra-70 illuminating warheads can be fired from a variety of rotary and fixed-wing aircraft such as the US Army Apache and the US Marine Corps Cobra attack helicopters, the US Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon and other combat aircraft used worldwide.
According to Northrop, the flares offer troops the tactical edge they need on the battlefield.
Valued at $80m, the illuminating flares contract is for the production of the M257 visible spectrum flare, the M278 infrared (IR) spectrum illuminating flare, as well as the newly designed M278A1 IR spectrum illuminating flare, according to army-technology.com.