Electro-Optical and Infrared Sensors (EO/IR)

Electro-Optical and Infrared Sensors (EO/IR)

Seeing what others can’t. That’s Defining Possible.

Northrop Grumman’s electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensors give warfighters a 24/7 view of the battlespace

From surface to space, Northrop Grumman’s electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensors harness the power of light to give warfighters a 24/7 view of the battlespace and the ability to deliver effects with unprecedented precision.


In the air, Northrop Grumman’s passive imaging sensors use the visible and infrared spectral bands to provide spherical situational awareness, long-range precision targeting and protection from infrared-guided missiles – all without emitting detectable energy. Systems include the LITENING Advanced Targeting Pod, F-35 Electro-Optical Distributed Aperture System, Infrared Countermeasure Systems and OpenPod™ IRST.

military jet in sky

LITENING Advanced Targeting Pod

A multi-sensor targeting and surveillance system that enables aircrews to detect, acquire, auto-track and identify targets at long ranges.

Learn More > LITENING Advanced Targeting Pod
fighter jet flying in blue skies

F-35 Electro-Optical Distributed Aperture System

Northrop Grumman’s EO/IR distributed aperture system (DAS) provides a 360 degree, protective sphere of situational awareness for the F-35 Lightning pilot. DAS warns the pilot of incoming aircraft and missile threats as well as provides day and night vision, fire control capability and precision tracking of wingmen and friendly aircraft for tactical maneuvering.

Learn More > F-35 Lightning II
Northrop Grumman Infrared Countermeasures System for the KC-135 Achieves Milestone C

Infrared Countermeasure Systems

EO/IR technology is at the core of Northrop Grumman’s infrared countermeasures (IRCM) systems. IRCM refers to a variety of systems designed to protect aircraft from infrared homing (otherwise known as “heat-seeking”) missiles. These missiles are designed to lock onto heat, such as heat emitted by an aircraft engine, and steer the missile toward that energy. Infrared missiles are increasingly cheap, simple and dangerous — posing a major threat to military aircraft. Northrop Grumman designs and manufactures a number of unique IRCM systems designed to protect the warfighter.

Learn More > AN/AAQ-24(V) DIRCM (Directional Infrared Countermeasure)

OpenPod™ IRST

OpenPod™ is a multi-mission, reconfigurable, open architecture pod system. In minutes, maintainers can have an aircraft ready for a new mission. OpenPod™ will be available with IRST and targeting packages at launch, followed by communications, LIDAR, 5th-to-4th generation communications and other options in in the future.

Land EO/IR

Precision targeting is critical to successfully complete enemy engagement missions on land. Northrop Grumman’s EO/IR suite of products, including the Lightweight Laser Designator RangeFinder (LLDR), use advanced EO/IR capabilities to provide a distinct warfighter advantage in deploying precision-guided munitions. Our systems are battle-tested and interconnect within the digitized battlefield to provide an overmatch sensor capability for a variety of missions.

Laser Designator Rangefinder mounted on tripod

Lightweight Laser Designator Rangefinder with High Accuracy Targeting (LLDR-2H)

The LLDR-2H provides high accuracy and precision for target recognition, identification and location via multiple EO/IR sensors.

High accuracy targeting and imaging at extended ranges, enables LLDR-2H to shape the field of engagement by expanding the close combat zone.

Through its unique integration of leading edge technologies, LLDR-2H provides high-resolution sensors for fire-support target acquisition and reconnaissance missions. Interconnectivity within the digitized battlefield enables the operator to use LLDR-2H to quickly acquire, locate and designate high-value targets.

handheld targeting device

Next Generation Handheld Targeting System (NGHTS)

NGHTS is a compact targeting device that provides unparalleled precision targeting from extended ranges and is capable of operation in GPS-denied environments. Connected to military networks, NGHTS can provide superior situational awareness and accurate coordinates for the delivery of effects from beyond the line of sight, no matter the conditions or type of environment.

NGHTS is capable of performing rapid target acquisition, laser terminal guidance operation and laser spot imaging functions. Its high-definition infrared sensors provide accuracy and grid capability over extended ranges. Additional features include a high-definition color display and day/night celestial compasses.

miltary vehicle with targeting pod

Venom Laser Designator Rangefinder — Targeting Pod on the Ground

Venom is a remote-controlled laser designator rangefinder telescoping mast system with an automatic tracking device enabling warfighters to designate moving and stationary targets while on the move from the safety of an armored vehicle.

The vehicle-mounted targeting system uses a Lightweight Laser Designator Rangefinder (LLDR). Venom supports the LLDR on a universal, stabilized and gimbaled mount that can be integrated on a wide variety of military vehicles. Active stabilization allows Venom to operate while both the vehicle and the target are in motion.

The quick dismount, modular design of the Venom system allows the warfighter to easily disconnect the LLDR for man-portable operations. Venom is modular and sensor agnostic with suites that can be tailored to individual platform and mission requirements.

Electro-Optical and Infrared Sensors (EO/IR)

Maritime EO/IR

Shipboard Panoramic EO/IR (SPEIR) is a recently initiated US Surface Navy acquisition that will dramatically improve shipboard sensor system capabilities and will be fully integrated with combat management systems. Northrop Grumman is poised to embark on our partnership with the Navy to fulfil our SPEIR vision to provide game-changing EO/IR technology, which can autonomously detect, track and identify air (including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)) and surface threats, dramatically increasing situational awareness (particularly at night), and significantly improving navigation safety.

Northrop Grumman’s core competencies include extensive combat systems integration, as exemplified by the Fleet’s premier sea skimming anti-ship cruise missile detection system, the SPQ-9B radar, as well as broad experience in US Navy submarine CMS integration with radar systems. Northrop Grumman has devoted several decades integrating the Fleet’s bedrock of navigation sensor systems including WSN-7 and NEXGEN WSN-12, Navy ECDIS (electronic charting for navigation), and Integrated Bridge systems. Northrop Grumman also successfully fielded and currently maintains the Integrated Combat Management System (ICMS) onboard the Littoral Combat Ship Independence class variant.

Space EO/IR

Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS)

Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS)

Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS)

Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS)

In the News

close-up of missile warning sensor in lab

Survivability soars when the countermeasures are infrared and multispectral (Breaking Defense)

handheld laser-based targeting system

Northrop Grumman to Manufacture US Marine Corps Next Generation Handheld Targeting System

military jet sitting on runway

Northrop Grumman LITENING Targeting Pod Makes First Navy Super Hornet Flight

handheld targeting device

Northrop Grumman to Equip US Marine Corps with Next Generation Handheld Targeting Device

lab facility for semiconductor wafer post-processing

Northrop Grumman Establishes New Microelectronics Packaging Facility for Next-Generation Defense Applications

Red laser light coming from countermeasure pod

Northrop Grumman to Build More Combat-Proven Infrared Countermeasure Systems

full-color, digital video target

Northrop Grumman LITENING Color Targeting Pods Enter Service

u.s. military helicopter

Northrop Grumman Adds Infrared Countermeasures Systems Work

White male holds helmet while standing in manufacturing setting

How Military Aircraft EO/IR Systems Save American Lives

Caucasian male in uniform in front of plane

From Active Duty Air Force to Northrop Grumman Program Manager

Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS)

Northrop Grumman Completes Preliminary Design Review for Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared Subsystem

Contact Us

Haley Johnson
(703) 713-2821

Steve Lamb
(224) 625-4627

Diane Pennington
(626) 812-1406

Steve Lamb
(224) 625-4627