Navy Super Hornet's long-range sensor system gets green light for LRIP
ORLANDO, Fla. U.S. Navy officials granted approval for the infrared search and track (IRST) system on the F/A-18 Super Hornet to begin low-rate initial production (LRIP). The system was designed and integrated by Boeing and Lockheed Martin.
“This ‘see first, strike first’ capability can be used in a variety of threat environments,” says U.S. Navy F/A-18 program manager Capt. Frank Morley. The Navy plans to deploy IRST on the F/A-18 Super Hornet in 2017.
IRST21 is the latest generation of Lockheed Martin’s IRST sensor system, which has logged more than 300,000 flight hours on the U.S. Navy’s F-14 and international F-15 platforms. The long-range IRST21 sensor utilizes infrared search and track technology to detect, track, and enable the Super Hornet to engage threats with air-to-air weapons.
In addition to detecting airborne threats, IRST also enhances multiple target resolution compared to radar, by providing greater discrimination of threat formations at longer ranges. Data from the IRST21 sensor is then fused with other on-board F/A-18 sensor data to increase situational awareness .