Code One, Volume 11, Number 1, January 1998 Page: 30
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y b, av _. ,eSTRIKE TEST
"V -. -
F-1 8E Super Hornet
F-14 with TARPS
aerostructure. The second E model is used to investigate
the flying qualities and performance aspects of each
new configuration. Each maneuver is analyzed for
handling assessments and basic stability and control
Expanding the g envelope and identifying maneuvering
stresses on the aircraft structure is assigned to the third
E model test team. The fourth E model is being used to
document high alpha characteristics in various configura-
tions, carrying a spin recovery chute as an insurance
policy. The fifth E model and the two F model aircraft are
used in weapon separation flights. The first F model (two
seater) is also the carrier suitability aircraft. This test team
focuses on determining minimum controllable static and
dynamic airspeeds at various symmetrical and asymmetri-
cal loadings. The TC-7 steam catapult and the MK-7 arrest-
ing gear located at Patuxent River are used to validate the
maximum anticipated structural loading.
These seven F-18E/Fs, categorized as engineering
and manufacturing development aircraft, are working
towards a program completion date of November 1998.
Preparations are underway for operational evaluation
at NAWC Weapons Division, China Lake, California.
"The ultimate goal is fleet initial operational capability
in May 2002," says Lt. Ken Ham of the F-18E/F integrated
As the F-18E/Fs continue EMD, the F-14 Tomcat con-
tinues to be the Navy's premier long-range fighter. The
Tomcat will incorporate significant performance improve-
ments in the next four years, many of which complement
the F-18. The F-14 will enable the Navy to maintain the
desired force structure of fifty strike-fighter aircraft on
each carrier deck until it is replaced by the Super Hornet.
A high priority for the F-14 in FY 96 was to qualify F-14B
LANTIRN system, which provides the F-14 with an accu-
rate, autonomous designation and targeting capability for
the delivery of laser-guided bombs. This effort resulted in
the successful completion of qualifications for fleet deploy-
ment in November 1996.
The Tomcats carrying the Tactical Airborne Recon-
naissance Pod System, or TARPS, continue to provide
a manned tactical reconnaissance capability. Strike
currently is testing a prototype upgrade to the existing
F-14 TARPS, allowing for realtime downlink of digital
reconnaissance photos. Carrier suitability tests resulted in
a recommendation for operational deployment of the
"A major accomplishment by Strike in the past fiscal
year was the incorporation of a digital flight control system
in the F-14," says Cosgrove. "This major safety improve-
ment for the fleet will prevent departure from controlled
flight. Installation is projected for June 1998."
Strike offers other examples of leading edge technolo-
gies emerging in spite of diminishing funds. USAF KC-135
refueling tankers were equipped with a multipoint refuel-
ing system to replace the "iron basket" formerly used to
refuel Navy aircraft. The system consists of two wing-
mounted, hose-and-drogue style refueling packages. The
tanker remains configured for the Air Force and alleviates
the need to reconfigure it to accommodate different types
of receiver aircraft. The refueling pod is an upgrade to the
package currently deployed on the KC-10.
30 January 1998
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Lockheed Martin Astronautics (Firm). Code One, Volume 11, Number 1, January 1998, periodical, January 1998; Fort Worth, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth1023905/m1/32/: accessed April 18, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Fort Worth.