The US Navy has awarded a Milestone B acquisition decision memorandum to Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet infrared search and track (IRST) programme to move to the next development phase.

The programme’s next development phase includes engineering and manufacturing development.

The IRST system is a passive, long-range sensor to be installed on the navy’s F/A-18E/F block II Super Hornet flight plan to detect infrared emissions.

The system, equipped with radar-jamming technology, simultaneously tracks multiple targets and provides air-to-air targeting capability when encountering advanced threats.

Boeing F/A-18E/F IRST programme manager Tim Adrian said, “The IRST sensor system will expand Super Hornet detection and targeting capability in multiple mission profiles, including electronically denied environments.”

Subcontracts supporting the Boeing IRST contract include Lockheed Martin, GE Aviation and Meggitt Defense Systems.