Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Super-Duper Hornet . . .

— Stevie's Turkey: the F-35 —
BOEING HAS ANNOUNCED a whole series of up-grades and improvements to the Super Hornet, according to MILITARY.COM's article, "Super Hornets Could Launch Their Own UAVs". The object of the exercise is to increase survivability to allow a service life to 2040.

Among the potential upgrades to the E and F-model jets is the ability to launch and control unmanned aerial vehicles.
• • •
Other potential upgrades to the Super Hornet could include the installation of a stealthy weapons pod; conformal fuel tanks along the upper fuselage that give the jet more than 3,500 gallons of additional fuel; enhanced General Electric engines that would provide increased fuel efficiency and up to 20 percent more thrust; and a bevy of avionics and sensor upgrades designed to improve the plane's ability to collect and share data as well as jam enemy sensors. All the information gathered by these sensors would be displayed in the cockpit on a giant, color touch screen resembling a large iPad.

While Boeing has no official contracts to install these features on any of its Super Hornets, it is conducting research and development work to ensure that it can do so, should a customer request them.

"As international customers buy Super Hornets, they can tailor it to their needs" as they evolve by taking advantage of the new features that Boeing is researching, said Chris Chadwick, head of Boeing's military aircraft division, during a June 7 meeting with reporters.

Do check the rest of the article; it seems Boeing wants to do business, and is courting all the buyers of older F-18's as well as owners of the E and F variants.

But Stevie just has to ram the F-35 through Parliament, his cronies need it. We can't afford it and we don't need it. We need F-18 "G" Super-Duper Hornets (or whatever Boeing wants to call them), then get with the USN's X-47B RPV fighter I posted details about a couple of weeks back. The 47 can eventually replace the F-18 for "harm's way" missions, as its capabilities get worked up.


Steve said...

A rational plan. Why are the other parties not hammering him daily, let him be know as F35 fail minister.

Mark, Ottawa said...

Related, at the CDFAI's "3Ds Blog":

"F-35: More on Possible USN Wobbling/US Costs"

And another almost certain procurement screw-up:

"RCN’s Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ship: Some “important milestone”