Lockheed Martin's Infrared Search and Track (IRST(tm)) sensor system for the U.S. Navy F/A-18E/F achieved critical Milestone B approval to proceed into the Engineering, Manufacturing and Development phase. Lockheed Martin's IRST sensor system augments aircrews' ability to search, track and engage targets in dense threat environments.
"In air-to-air engagements, IRST provides a discriminating capability to counter threats at greater standoff distances enhancing survivability," said Paul Hey, IRST senior program manager in Lockheed Martin's Missiles and Fire Control business. "The successful Milestone B achievement sets the foundation for delivering IRST capability to the warfighter, and is a testament to the hard work and collaboration of the U.S. Navy and industry team."
The passive IRST sensor system provides warfighters with unprecedented on-board situational awareness while detecting, identifying and engaging enemy targets at extended ranges. The IRST system's high-angle accuracy also provides the ability to track closely-spaced targets at maximum ranges. This information can be used alone or combined with other sensor data to further enhance the pilot's situational awareness.
Lockheed Martin has an active IRST production line delivering units to equip international variants of the F-15. A mature and proven technology, IRST sensor systems first equipped F-14D aircraft aboard U.S. carriers, and have accumulated over 200,000 flight hours. Lockheed Martin is currently subcontracted to the Boeing Company to supply IRST sensor systems in support of the U.S. Navy F/A-18E/F and U.S. Air Force F-15C IRST programs.