Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: AN/AAS-42
Origin: United States of America
Parent System: F-14D IRST
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 1990
Total Production: ?
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Description: The F-14D AN/AAS-42 is a passive Infrared Search and Track (IRST) system intended for the carrier-based F-14D Tomcat fighter aircraft. It uses a passive long-wave infrared sensor that searches for, detects and tracks airborne heat sources within its field of view. Operating in six discrete modes, the AN/AAS-42 provides the aircraft mission computer track file data on all targets while simultaneously providing infrared imagery to the cockpit display. It also enhances the engagement range of high performance air-to-air missiles such as the AIM-120 AMRAAM. The AN/AAS-42 was introduced in 1990 onboard the F-14D Tomcat replacing the infrared sensor mounted below the aircraft's nose in previous models (F-14A and F-14B). The F-14D AN/AAS-42 IRST accumulated over 200,000 flight hours aboard US aircraft carriers.
Based on the AN/AAS-42, Lockheed Martin has and is developing several IRST systems for existing fighter aircraft such as the F/A-18E/F, F-15C and F-15E. IRST systems are intended to complement the latest generations of tactical radars providing long-range detection of airborne targets with low false alarms under subsonic and supersonic speed and clutter backgrounds such as blue sky to severe mountain and urban terrain. An additional benefit is that the IRST systems are effective against low radar cross section targets and immune to radiofrequency-based countermeasures while reducing the threat posed by anti-radiation missiles and radar warners.
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