Kind of “behind the power curve” on this but Lockheed Martin had achieved “Milestone C” for the IRST-21 flight tested aboard a US Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet. As I understand it milestone C, pending approval, would be the before the IRST is approved for low-rate initial production. See the confusing figure below:
Yeah I know that we attempt to clarify things here but I’m not even going to attempt to talk about the DoD acquisition process (that’s what the comment section is for) so my intent here is to give you “the big picture” as to exactly where the IRST-21 is in terms of being fleet deployed.
The Lockheed Martin IRST is a self contained passive infrared sensor that’s designed to search air-to-air targets. Again the sensor is passive, meaning it doesn’t emit detectable signals that could give away the platform’s presence to the enemy. The IRST-21 on the Super Hornet is installed on the nose of the aircraft’s centerline fuel tank can be integrated into other tactical airborne platforms.
See the brochure here:
[scribd id=249277597 key=key-ioExJiNvK2oiPBwEEFcT mode=scroll]
Oh yeah and this too <cough, cough>:
Just sayin’ baby 🙂