March 15, 2013

F/A-18 sharing advanced situation awareness technology with F-35

The electronic attack E/A-18G "Growler" derivative of the Super Hornet - carrying its electronic warfare pods.

A major selling point for the F-35 was advanced, multi-aircraft, situational awareness computer technology. It appears that developmental delays in the F-35 mean that such advanced technology is increasingly being incorporated into the US Navy's current strike fighters (the F/A-18E/F Super Hornets) and also the electronic attack E/A-18G "Growler" derivative of the Super Hornet.

This represents a disincentive for the US military and other foreign customers to buy the troubled F-35 which is much more expensive than the Super Hornet.

DefenseTech March 14, 2013 reports:

"Navy Wants More GD Super Computers

The U.S. Navy has awarded a $19.3 million contract to General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems to produce Type-3 advanced mission computers for the F/A-18E/F and E/A-18G Super Hornet aircraft.

These special computers act as the nerve center of the Super Hornet, providing situational awareness and combat systems control to the flight crew, GD officials maintain. General Dynamics has delivered F/A-18 advanced mission computers since 2002.

They’re ruggedized, highly-reliable systems that can process high-speed data flows from the latest sensor technologies, GD officials maintain. The system performs general purpose, input/output, video, voice and graphics processing, and it is designed to operate in the extreme environmental conditions of today’s high-performance fighter aircraft.

“Last year we hit a major milestone with the delivery of the 1,500th advanced mission computer to the U.S. Navy in support of the Super Hornet program,” said Lou Von Thaer, president of General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems. “Our long-standing commitment to outfitting this world-class aircraft with our open architecture has provided the Navy with the ability to cost-effectively address obsolescence, increase flexibility and strengthen performance capabilities.”

Here is the orginal General Dynamics press release .

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