Super Hornet Demonstrates Network Multi-Targeting Capability

Released on Tuesday, April 18, 2006
United States of America
F/A-18E Super Hornet
F/A-18F Super Hornet
AESA - Active Electronically Scanned Array
JDAM - Joint Direct Attack Munition
Boeing has successfully demonstrated the capability of an F/A-18E/F Super Hornet to provide targeting coordinates to other aircraft using the Raytheon APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar system.

During the test at the Naval Air Weapons Center at China Lake, California, an AESA-equipped F/A-18F created a long-range, high resolution synthetic aperture radar map and designated four closely-spaced stationary targets. The aircraft then data-linked two target designations to non-AESA equipped Super Hornets, which successfully delivered four 2,000-lb. Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM). All four weapons impacted the targets within lethal distance. The targeting Super Hornet then used the AESA to provide highly detailed bomb damage assessments to confirm the hits.

This demonstration demonstrated some of the capabilities of the Block II Super Hornet we have been talking about. This is just one element of the tremendous networking potential of the Block II Super Hornet for US warfighters.

The AESA radar provides the warfighter with higher resolution at much longer ranges than traditional, mechanically scanned arrays. This information enables other aircraft crews to more precisely target weapons for greater accuracy. Additional demonstrations of the Super Hornet's future precision engagement capabilities are planned as part of tests leading to the program's Operational Evaluation later this year.

This network targeting demonstration using the APG-79 AESA radar truly showed the force multiplier capacity of an AESA-equipped Super Hornet. This is the first time that target coordinates were generated by one F/A-18 aircraft and passed via data link to other F/A-18 aircraft. Close teamwork among the Navy, Boeing and Raytheon continues to produce superior warfighting capabilities such as this.


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