Boeing has started production of the new Distributed Targeting System (DTS) for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet strike fighter, the company announced Wednesday.
DTS provides enhanced targeting capability for the Super Hornet as part of the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18E/F Network Centric Warfare Upgrades program and the F/A-18E/F Flight Plan. Geo-registration technology compares images taken from tactical sensors with an onboard imagery database to produce highly accurate target coordinates.
The Navy granted approval for Low Rate Initial Production of DTS following successful completion of initial operational assessment flight testing at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, Calif., and Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., between September 2010 and March 2011. Air Test and Evaluation Squadrons VX-31 and VX-23 conducted the tests.
“Distributed targeting is going to be a real game-changer for Super Hornet aircrews,” said Kevin Fogarty, Boeing F/A-18 and EA-18G Mission Systems director. “DTS increases pilot and aircrew situational awareness and precision targeting when engaging air-to-ground targets, in part by using geo-registration technology.”
DTS is on schedule to achieve Initial Operational Capability in January 2013.