Warplanes: November 16, 2000


: valuable training in intercepting intruders.--Stephen V Cole

The Royal Australian Air Force has received the first of 71 of its F-18 Hornet fighters upgraded to the HUG-1 standard. Phase 1 of the Hornet UpGrade program involves numerous improvements, including: 

@ new ARC-210 UHF/VHF radios

@ replacing the Identification-Friend-or-Foe system with a combined interrogator-transponder

@ an embedded Global Positioning System to improve navigation

@ upgraded XN-8+ mission computers

@ an additional multiplex database

@ upgraded electronic warfare software

To maintain fighter strength, the aircraft are being upgraded one or two at a time. Phase 1, which will cost $700 million, will be completed at the end of 2001. This will be followed by Phase 2, in which the APG-73 fire control radar will be installed. This phase will take four years (2002-2005) and cost $600 million. The Hornets are scheduled to retire in 2015, although Australia is considering a plan to rebuild the airframes as a Phase-3 of the HUG and keep the planes in service a extra decade.--Stephen V Cole

November 15, 2000; Boeing is developing the software for the Lockheed-Martin F-22 Raptor air superiority fighter, and has begun testing the critical Version-3.0 software


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