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Thread: Super Hornet AESA troubles

  1. #1
    Senior Contributor HKDan's Avatar
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    Super Hornet AESA troubles

    Nagging software problem plagues Super Hornet radar


    "The advanced radar developed for the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet has completed a key testing period with a nagging software problem still unresolved but showing improvement, according to the US Navy. The Raytheon APG-79 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar - the first dual-mode sensor in service on a US military fighter - completed its operational test and evaluation phase on 6 December 2006.

    The APG-79 continues to suffer from software glitches but programme officials believe that projected growth curves will produce an effective product by the time the first squadron is due to deploy by the end of Fiscal Year 2007, said Commander John Green, integrated product team leader for the radar. Currently, some of the 28 APG-79-equipped fighters fly more than 200 hours without experiencing a shutdown of the sensor, while others are reporting such system failures more frequently, said Shirley Franko, deputy leader of the integrated product team for the AESA radar."



    I was wondering if some of our better informed posters(you know who you are) could give some input or opinions on this. Is this just the usual bringing a new piece of equipment into service teething problems or are there more serious issues at hand? Have any of you heard about what sort of issues they are having? I would have loved to read the entire article, but my wife would murder me in my sleep if I actually paid for a full Janes subscription.

  2. #2
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    Yep, that's pretty normal for software - much less complicated software to boot, let alone something that drives a radar ... keep in mind that AESA radar software is even more complicated than you would expect since, unlike previous designs for radars, the AESA antenna is not considered to be a 'radar' until you run the 'radar software' on it ... but at the same time, you could also run the 'jammer software' and 'communications software' and 'who knows what else' software for an AESA array. So there's probably a lot of functions that were usually handled in hardware or at least, very dedicated software, that is now handled more like you would handle your graphics card on a PC.

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