Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Block III Super Hornets WILL be able to track stealth aircraft...

via Flightglobal.
The Block III upgrade package includes a range of structural and sensor upgrades, but it crucially adds the ability to receive and transfer large amounts of sensor data with other Super Hornets and the Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye.

It also adds a second-generation infrared search and track (IRST) sensor, allowing the Super Hornet to detect and track enemy aircraft without giving away its own position by using its radar. The IRST is able to detect even targets stealthy to radar at long ranges, but a single sensor on one aircraft does not provide enough clarity to provide targeting information to a guided missile.

The Block III package also adds the Rockwell Collins Tactical Targeting Network Technology (TTNT) radio and an advanced processor. Those upgrades allow two or more F/A-18E/Fs to share IRST sensor data, giving a single fighter enough information to use for a targeting solution.

Wait one darn minute!  So let me get this straight.  A flight of Super Hornet Block III's with IRST can data share information and get a lock on stealth aircraft?

So this means that with the Navy's networking system, this same flight of aircraft could pass on that data to an Aegis Destroyer so that it can launch its' anti-air missiles or a US Army's Multi-Domain unit to do the same?

I can't speak for the rest of the US military but it looks like the Navy is working the problem of killing stealth aircraft.

Is this why they're not so hot about the F-35C?  Looks like payloads do indeed win out over platforms!

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