The U.S. Navy has awarded Boeing [NYSE: BA] a $121 million undefinitized contract for system development and demonstration of the Hornet Autonomous Real-time Targeting (HART) system.
HART adds a precision guidance capability to
Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) that enables aircrews to designate targets and deploy JDAM independent of pre-planned mission requirements. The Navy plans to deploy HART initially on JDAMs carried aboard the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
"HART will provide the first real-time air-to-surface precision engagement capability for the United States Navy," said Mike Marks, vice president and general manager, Fighters, Bombers and Weapons, for Boeing. "This capability will complement and increase the combat capabilities already resident on the F/A-18 E/F weapon system."
Contract definitization will be in February 2004.
During system development and demonstration, Boeing will develop kits that would be attached to a MK-82 JDAM and convert it into a HART precision guided weapon. The HART guidance kit includes an infrared sensor, a processor, and image-matching software.
Using the Active Electronically Scanned Array radar system, a Super Hornet aircrew can acquire and designate a target and transfer a reference image of the target to the JDAM. After release, the weapon compares the reference image to that in its sensor's field of view, guiding it to the point designated in the target scene. System development and demonstration will also include HART's initial flight testing, weapon separation tests and evaluation of the overall system performance.
"We're improving the accuracy of the highly successful JDAM and combining that technology with AESA to enhance the ability of F/A-18E/F to engage targets of opportunity," said Tony Parasida, vice president, F/A-18 program, for Boeing.
Plans call for a low rate initial production decision on HART in late 2006, with initial operational capability expected in December 2007. Boeing would expect to produce approximately 600 units during Long Range Initial Production (LRIP) 1. Follow on production contracts would bring the total kits produced to 6000 through 2011.
A unit of The Boeing Company,
Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $25 billion business. It provides systems solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in launch services.