We couldn't help sharing this nice picture. A F/A-18E Super Hornet from the Royal Maces of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 27 launches from flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) during the Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 fly-off at sea south of Japan on 21 November 2014 (Image © Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Everett Allen / US Navy)

Super Hornet to become more awesome in 2017

The US Navy Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets are to become more awesome from 2017. Boeing and Lockheed Martin just got the green light for the initial low-rate production of a Super Hornet adapted Infrared Search and Track System. This IRST will enable to detect, track and attack threats with air-to-air weapons on longer ranges than just with the radar on board the jets.

IRST21 is the next generation of Lockheed Martin’s legacy IRST sensor system, which accumulated more than 300,000 flight hours on the US Navy’s F-14 Tomcat and US Air Force F-15 Eagle / Strike Eagle combat jets. “IRST significantly enhances multiple target resolution compared to radar, providing greater discrimination of threat formations at longer ranges. Data from the IRST21 sensor is fused with other on-board F/A-18 sensor data to provide maximum situational awareness to the warfighter,” according to a joint statement by Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

Exactly how much better the Super Hornet will be able to engage airborne threats on longer distances is classified. The IRST21 is basically an advanced infra-red eye installed into a modified fuel-tank hull, attached to the belly of the fuselage of the Super Hornet.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger, with source information of Boeing/Lockheed Martin

The IRST21 pod clearly visible underneath the belly of this US Navy Super Hornet (Image © Lockheed Martin)
The IRST21 pod clearly visible underneath the belly of this US Navy Super Hornet (Image © Lockheed Martin)
We couldn't help sharing this nice picture.  A F/A-18E Super Hornet from the Royal Maces of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 27 launches from flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) during the Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 fly-off at sea south of Japan on 21 November 2014 (Image © Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Everett Allen / US Navy)
We couldn’t help sharing this nice picture. A F/A-18E Super Hornet from the Royal Maces of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 27 launches from flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) during the Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 fly-off at sea south of Japan on 21 November 2014 (Image © Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Everett Allen / US Navy)