Pakistan Is Going To Buy “Targeting Pod” Modern Technology For JF-17 From Turkey. Targeting pods are target designation tools used by ground-attack aircraft for identifying targets and guiding precision guided munitions (PGM) such as laser-guided bombs to those targets. The first targeting pods were developed in conjunction with the earliest generation of PGMs in the mid-1960s.
The design of laser-guided bombs requires a “laser spot tracker” that locates reflected pulses of laser light from a designated target. This enables an aircraft’s targeting system to home in on that specific target. The simplest spot trackers (like the Pave Penny pod) have no laser at all, just a laser sensor.
Some targeting systems incorporate a laser rangefinder, a laser beam that can calculate the precise range to a target and communicate that information to the nav/attack system. Many targeting pods or installations use the same sensor as the laser spot tracker to receive the reflected rangefinder signal, so they can perform both ranging and tracking; these are called laser ranger and marked target seeker (LRMTS).
Some targeting systems have a laser that can designate a target for laser-guided munitions, enabling the aircraft to designate its own targets or designate for other friendly units. LRMTS installations (particularly fixed internal units) of the 1970s often did not have a laser of sufficient power and slant range to designate targets, although they could provide range finding. Such units still required targets to be designated by a ground designator or forward air controller in another aircraft.