Boeing [BA] on Wednesday said that it and the Navy recently completed the first flight of an F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft with the Infrared Search and Track (IRST) Block II sensor pod, a milestone on the way to delivery in 2021.
The IRST Block II sensor is one of the key components that will be included in the Block III Super Hornet aircraft. The sensor is in the risk reduction phase and is expected to reach initial operational capability shortly after delivery.
The passive, long-range sensor allows for detection, tracking, ranging and accurate targeting of other aircraft.
“The IRST Block II gives the F/A-18 improved optics and processing power, significantly improving pilot situational awareness of the entire battle space,” Jennifer Tebo, Boeing’s director of F/A-18 Development, said in a statement.
The IRST sensor is supplied by Lockheed Martin [LMT].