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Boeing Rolls Out Updated Super Hornet

The Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet
(KWMU Staff)
The Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – Leaders of Boeing's St. Louis-based Integrated Defense Systems introduced an upgraded F/A-18 Super Hornet Thursday.

The plane features an improved digital radar system that allows pilots to engage in air-to-air and air-to-surface operations at the same time.

The technology is known as AESA, which stands for Active Electronically Scanned Array.

Boeing Vice President Chris Chadwick says it's much more accurate than conventional radar because there are no moving parts.

"Whereas before, the radar would pivot back and forth with hydraulics, this radar remains static," Chadwick said. "It's electron beam-driven that come out at different angles that allow you to track the targets."

The U.S. Navy has a contract with Boeing for 210 of the upgraded fighters, and plans to buy about 200 more. The planes cost $53 million apiece.