Infrared search and tracking sensor systems are passive, long-range sensors that can search for and detect infrared radiation, can track multiple targets at the same time, and provide efficient air-to-air target capture capabilities. The system allows users to detect advanced threat targets even if they are equipped with radar jamming technology. Can provide "first discovery, first blow" ability, and aircraft radar work together to enhance the performance of various weapons systems.
Infrared search and tracking is an important part of the U.S. Navy F/A-18E/F Block II "Super Hornet" flight program designed to ensure that "Super Hornet" continues to surpass known and emerging threats for the next 10 years . According to the plan, the infrared search and tracking sensor system will have "initial combat capability" in 2016. Subcontracting contractors include Lockheed Martin, General Electric, Meggitt Defense Systems, and others.
Boeing acquired a $135 million contract for the engineering manufacturing and development phase of the U.S. Navy F/A-18E/F infrared search and tracking sensor system.