Meggitt Defense Systems Inc has won approval to move into the engineering and manufacturing development phase of the environmental control unit for the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Infrared Search and Track (IRST) system.
The Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is a multi-role aircraft, able to perform virtually every mission in the tactical spectrum including air superiority, day/night strike with precision-guided weapons, fighter escort, close air support, suppression of enemy air defences, maritime strike, reconnaissance, forward air control and tanker missions.
The new IRST sensor system augments the F/A-18E/F aircrew's ability to search, track and engage targets quickly in dense threat environments. By providing cooling for critical components, Meggitt's environmental control unit is a key component in ensuring the reliability of the infrared-based system.
The IRST is fitted to the nose of the centreline fuel tank designed especially for the F/A-18E/F. Meggitt estimates that up to 250 systems could be procured, mated to these fuel tanks and distributed around the fleet as required (the fuel tanks are not permanently attached to the aircraft).
The Meggitt solution combines commercial-off-the-shelf components with its field-proven heat exchanger, compressor assembly and advanced electronic controller technologies.
Meggitt Defense Systems is currently subcontracted to the Boeing Co. to supply environmental cooling units to the US Navy F/A-18E/F and US Air Force F-15C IRST programmes.
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