As part of this trend, Russia is on the verge of introducing a homegrown innovative system that will significantly improve precision targeting capabilities of its attack aircraft, defense analyst Dave Majumdar wrote for the National Interest, referring to targeting pods.
"With the addition of the targeting pods, the Russian Air Force will more or less have matched all of the capabilities resident onboard US fourth-generation fighters like the F-15, F-16 or F/A-18," he added.
The Russian-made targeting pod can be compared to a sniper sight, the source added. The pilot will be able to follow a live video feed on a monitor installed into the aircraft cabin and target guided bombs or missiles accordingly.
"Targeting pods allow the pilot to eliminate targets with air-launched weapons equipped with television seekers or direct a laser light at the target and use laser-guided bombs to hit the mark," the source explained.
The PSS targeting pods are meant to be fitted onto the Sukhoi Su-30SM Flanker-H, the Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E and the upgraded Mikoyan MiG-29 Fulcrum.
"Russia seems to have accelerated the development of the new pod after combat experience in Syria demonstrated that such capabilities are mandatory over the modern battlefield," Majumdar observed.