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F/A-18E/F IRST  
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2017
Total Production: 150
Also Known As: IRST21 and SpectIR
Origin: United States of America
Corporations: Lockheed Martin
Parent System: IRST
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 2017
Total Production: 150
Family Members: F-15C IRST
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Description: The F/A-18E/F IRST is an Infrared Search and Track (IRST) sensor being developed by Lockheed Martin to fit into the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft. This passive, high-angle sensor is intended to enable long-range detection and tracking of airborne targets under normal and electronic attack and heavy radio frequency/infrared countermeasure environments. The system enhances survivability and lethality in both offensive and defensive counter-air roles thus providing enhanced situational awareness. The F/A-18E/F IRST system is installed in the nose section of the centerline fuel tank on the aircraft. The IRST is the next generation of the F-14D AN/AAS-42 IRST that accumulated over 200,000 flight hours aboard US aircraft carriers. Boeing awarded the technology development contract to Lockheed Martin in May 2009. The US Navy has a requirement for 150 IRST systems with first deliveries due in 2011.

The new IRST technology developed by Lockheed Martin features high resolution providing dramatically improved raid cell count at maximum ranges. Compared to a radar at a maximum range the IRST is 40 times more accurate. The information gathered by the new sensor can stand alone or be fused with other sensor data to enhance situational awareness, ensuring first-to-see, first-to-shoot capability. It also enhances the engagement range of high performance air-to-air missiles such as the AIM-120 AMRAAM. The IRST has been designed 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 while reducing the threat posed by anti-radiation missiles and radar warners.

F/A-18E/F IRST Applications

Combat Aircraft F/A-18E Super Hornet F/A-18F Super Hornet

F/A-18E/F IRST News

There are 12 news between
2 Jul 2007 and 25 Oct 2018
1  2  
Thursday, October 25, 2018US Navy to Optimize Super Hornet Block I IRST System
Friday, August 17, 2018US Navy Provides Additional Funding for Development of F/A-18E/F IRST Block II Sensor
Thursday, October 19, 2017Lockheed Martin to Upgrade IRST21 Sensor System for US Navy Fighter Aircraft
Tuesday, September 19, 2017US Air Force F-15C Fleet to Get Legion IRST Pod
Thursday, January 22, 2015US Navy Approves F/A-18E/F IRST System for Production
Tuesday, February 18, 2014US Navy Tests Infrared Search and Track on Super Hornet
Friday, February 24, 2012SpectIR IRST System Demonstrates Capability During ANG Live Fire Test
Tuesday, November 22, 2011Boeing Receives F/A-18E/F Infrared Search & Track Development Contract
US Navy Awards Lockheed Martin F/A-18E/F IRST Sensor System EMD Contract
Monday, May 18, 2009Lockheed Martin to Develop F/A-18E/F Infrared Search and Track Sensor Program

Operators & Related Equipment


Grand Total 1501
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