Last week, Boeing announced in a press release a US Navy Super Hornet The aircraft would apparently be one of two test beds used for the development of the new variant of the Super Hornet , the Block III, which is expected to achieve initial operational capability by the end of 2021. If the first flight of external equipment may appear at first glance to be quite trivial, the operational integration of an IRST under a US Navy aircraft actually demonstrates a profound upheaval in the doctrine of air combat within the American forces.
IRST, for Infrared Search and Track, is optronic equipment capable of carrying out infrared monitoring and therefore detecting the heat produced by planes, ships, armored vehicles or buildings. Unlike a radar, which emits waves and records their echo, IRSTs work passively, without any radio or light emissions. As long as a fighter operates with the radar turned off and in radio silence, the IRST therefore makes it possible to detect aircraft without revealing its presence, even at distances of several tens of kilometers.To understand
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