US Navy tests in­frared search and track on Boe­ing Su­per Hor­net

SP's MAI - - AEROSPACE -

The US Navy re­cently tested, for the first time on a Boe­ing F/A-18 Su­per Hor­net air­craft, the in­frared search and track (IRST) sen­sor that will find hardto-de­tect tar­gets over long dis­tances. Boe­ing and Lock­heed Martin are de­vel­op­ing and in­te­grat­ing IRST, an es­sen­tial up­grade to the com­bat ca­pa­bil­ity of the Navy’s Su­per Hor­nets.

“Adding an ad­vanced in­frared sen­sor to the Su­per Hor­net broad­ens the Navy’s warfight­ing abil­ity,” Navy F/A-18 Pro­gramme Man­ager Ca­pain Frank Mor­ley said. “Com­bined with the Su­per Hor­net’s ad­vanced radar and the Growler’s elec­tronic at­tack radar jam­ming abil­ity, IRST will al­low the fleet to dom­i­nate the skies in all threat en­vi­ron­ments.”

The IRST sys­tem is be­ing de­vel­oped un­der a $135-mil­lion con­tract awarded in 2011 and is cur­rently planned to be de­ployed by 2017. The tech­nol­ogy was ini­tially tested last year on a Boe­ing King Air test air­craft, which helped re­duce costs by ad­vanc­ing the tech­nol­ogy be­fore in­stal­la­tion on Su­per Hor­nets. SP

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