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
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