Lockheed bags US Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet IRST contract

IRST21, pictured on the F/A-18F, is a passive, long-wave infrared sensor system that searches for and detects heat sources within its large field-of-regard, enabling long-range detection and track of enemy targets. Photo. Lockheed Martin

Boeing has awarded Lockheed Martin a contract for phase II of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Block II Infrared Search and Track (IRST) program for the US Navy.

As explained by Lockheed Martin, the contract will see the company complete development, platform integration, flight test, and qualification of the IRST21 Block II sensor system.

“We are continuing a long legacy of delivering unmatched sensor technologies to our customers around the globe,” said Michael Williamson, vice president of Sensors & Global Sustainment at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “The IRST21 sensor system provides US Navy F/A-18E/F operators with superior detection and survivability capabilities.”

The IRST21 sensor system uses infrared search and track technology to passively detect and track airborne threats in radar-denied environments. Contributing to both the US Navy and US Air Force, IRST21 will deliver a critical warfighting capability to meet any threat and directly support operational demands. Currently, IRST21 is mounted in the nose of the F/A-18E/F’s centerline fuel tank and in Legion Pod for other fighter and on-fighter platforms.

Lockheed Martin’s IRST sensor system is in full rate production and has logged more than 300,000 flight hours on the US Navy’s F-14 and F/A-18E/F, international F-15 platforms, and the US Air Force’s F-15C and F-16.

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Posted on November 27, 2018

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