Sharp eye in the skies. (Airscoop).
On 28 August, a prototype Shared Reconnaissance Pod (SHARP) demonstrated its real-time imagery capability as it flew over Washington, D.C., above, aboard an F/A-18F Super Hornet from NAS Patuxent River, Md. The SHARP system is an all-digital tactical reconnaissance system capable of wide-area coverage at long ranges in both visible and infrared wavelengths. A replacement for the Tactical Airborne Reconnaissance Pod System, SHARP can be installed on multiple platforms, and is capable of simultaneous air and ground screening. In the future, real-time dissemination of high-resolution digital data to the ground will be enhanced with a data link to multiple ground stations. Strike Fighter Squadron 41 is expected to be the first squadron to receive the SHARP system upon fleet introduction in 2003.