External pod-mounted equipment is a good solution for a multi-role aircraft acting in the reconnaissance mode. Reconnaissance pods offer the advantage of providing reconnaissance capability to fighter or attack aircraft already in inventory. Another benefit of a pod-based system is the ability to use the same pod on different types of aircraft. The adaptation of a reconnaissance pod system to more than one type of aircraft enables the operator to choose that aircraft which is the most suitable for the present tactical situation. If one type of aircraft is phased out, the reconnaissance pod can be adapted to new aircraft. In most present and future tactical environments, there are two main tactical reconnaissance mission profiles: high-speed/low-level penetration missions and stand-off missions (figure 1). The "tactical" sensors therefore must be able to gather reconnaissance information in one of these two profiles.