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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Super Hornets Retrofitted with AESA

The U.S. Navy is retrofitting 135 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets with Raytheon's active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, in an initial contract worth up to $55 million, the company said. Under terms of the contract, Raytheon will supply 19 AESA systems, spares and maintenance. Raytheon said the contract ensures aircraft manufactured before installation of the APG-79 will benefit from the sensor technology. The APG-79 program is moving toward full-rate production in anticipation of delivering 415 systems plus spares to the Navy and 24 systems to the Royal Australian Air Force in coming years. Two AESA-equipped fleet squadrons are training for deployment expected in 2008. AESA-equipped Super Hornet Block IIs are being delivered to two squadrons at Naval Air Station Oceana: the Black Lions of VFA-213 and the Gladiators of VFA-106. The former is the first Navy squadron to fly all AESA-equipped F/A-18F Super Hornets. In addition, AESA-equipped Block II Super Hornets are being introduced to squadrons at Naval Air Station Lemoore in California.

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