IRST is described as a “passive, long-range sensor, ” that can detect infrared emissions and advanced threats, while allowing its users to track multiple targets simultaneously, even if they are equipped with radar blocking technology. Boeing expects to introduce a finished product which will be part of the Super Hornet, by 2016.
Introduced in December, 1998, The Super Hornet jet is a multirole aircraft, and serves as one of the Navy’s go to weapons during in-flight operations.
“The F/A-18E/F IRST team shares an absolute focus on getting this new capability into the hands of the warfighter, ” said Tim Adrian, Boeing F/A-18E/F IRST program manager.
Subcontracted to Boeing on IRST are Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), which will produce the IRST sensor, GE Aviation [NYSE: GE], which is supplying the fuel tank assembly that will contain the sensor; and Meggitt Defense Systems Inc., Irvine, Calif., responsible for the unit’s cooling subassembly.