Hornet Real-Time Targeting (HART)


The US Navy and Boeing are developing the Hornet Autonomous Real-time Targeting (HART) system, based on the Hornet’s on-board radar imaging capability. The system will enable aircrews to designate targets and deploy JDAM independent of pre-planned mission requirements. The Navy plans to deploy HART on aboard the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. The HART precision guided kit includes an infrared sensor, a processor, and image-matching software. Using the Active Electronically Scanned Array radar system built into the Super Hornet, the pilot will be able to acquire and designate a target and transfer a reference image of the target to the weapon. 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. Boeing plans to begin low rate initial production of the HART in late 2006, with initial operational capability expected in December 2007. Boeing expects to produce about 6,600 HART units through 2011.