The US Navy has started testing a Distributed Targeting System (DTS) for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet at NAS China Lake in central California.
The DTS will allow Super Hornet crews to better process multiple targeting information. The first stage of the test process will see an image exploitation processor and mass storage unit integrated with the aircraft’s APG-79 AESA radar and ATFLIR targeting pod to geo-register imagery from these sensors and thus generate more precise targeting information. Later tests will see this expanded to synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and ground moving target indicator (GMTI) modes of the APG-79.
“Distributed targeting is a powerful tool that will provide Super Hornet aircrews with highly precise targeting capability when identifying and engaging ground target sets,” said Kory Mathews, Boeing’s F/A-18 and EA-18 programs vice president.
The DTS is a planned enhancement under the US Navy and Boeing’s F/A-18E/F ‘Flight Plan’ and is expected to be incorporated in future software and hardware upgrades.