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AFTERMARKET REVIEW


Eduard AN/AAQ-28(V) LITENING Pod -- 1:32 Scale

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Introduced towards the end of the Vietnam War, precision guided munitions revolutionized the air-to-ground component of aerial warfare.  With systems such as PAVE KNIFE, PAVE TACK, PAVE PENNY, and LANTIRN, a laser designator is placed on a target while a laser-guided bomb (fitted with a laser-seeker head and steerable fins) flies to that designated point to destroy it.

By the late 1980s, the promise of LANTIRN dual pod system (FLIR and a laser designator) developed for the F-15E became a reality and it shifted multiple paradigms.  While functioning pods were few in number at the beginning of Operation DESERT STORM, their subsequent use in that conflict and later wars went down in history.  Yet, as technology advanced, it was possible to develop even more advanced targeting pods.  The Northrop Grumman AN/AAQ-28(V) LITENING system combines a third-generation FLIR with longer range, much improved resolution, and better adverse weather performance with laser designator functions in a single pod.  The system can be used to identify and “laze” targets in traditional fashion but also can contribute to reconnaissance, BDA, battlefield observation, and more.  The LITENING pod is further compatible with JDAMs and laser JDAMs.  It has operated on almost every modern U.S. ground-attack aircraft from the F-16 (the primary platform of the LITENING) to the B-52, A-10, F-15E, F/A-18, and AV-8B.  Multiple allied nations also use the system today.

In this Brassin set, Eduard provides a 1:32 scale LITENING pod consisting of two cast resin parts and one photoetched metal fret containing two parts.  The pod body comes as a single piece and the sensor head is also a separate single casting.  The detail on both looks awesome, from the IR and laser designator windows and the finely riveted framing detail around them to the panels, raised latches, aft air intake, and so forth. 

The casting block for the pod body is at the aft end, and once you sand that end smooth, the photoetched metal part covers that surface as the pod’s backplate that features really nice (and visually prominent) vents.  To that end and to achieve the illusion of depth and shadow, I recommend painting the back end of the pod black before the PE part goes on since you can see through the aft vents.  The fret provides two of these parts, though you only need one.                

LITENING pods also feature a number of markings including warning markings, and the set contains a very useful small decal sheet with these markings.  The only drawback with the set is that a few of the stencils are just on this side of fuzzy and illegible.

Bottom line:  this is a great accessory for your 1:32 scale build that might call for a LITENING pod.  It’s also very well priced for the detail and value you get.  I’ve got a 1:32 scale AV-8B on the bench, and this set is soon going on the centerline station.

We extend our sincere thanks to Eduard for the review sample. You can visit them on the web at http://www.eduard.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EduardCompany/

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale

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