The US Navy has awarded Boeing a $121 million contract for system development and demonstration of the Hornet Autonomous Real-time Targeting (HART) system.
According to Boeing, HART adds a precision guidance capability to Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) that enables aircrews to designate targets and deploy JDAM independent of pre-planned mission requirements. The Navy plans to deploy HART initially on JDAMs carried aboard the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
During system development and demonstration, Boeing will develop kits that would be attached to a MK-82 JDAM and convert it into a HART precision guided weapon. The HART guidance kit includes an infrared sensor, a processor, and image-matching software.
Using the Active Electronically Scanned Array radar system, a Super Hornet aircrew can acquire and designate a target and transfer a reference image of the target to the JDAM.
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. System development and demonstration will also include HART’s initial flight testing, weapon separation tests and evaluation of the overall system performance.
Plans call for a low rate initial production decision on HART in late 2006, with initial operational capability expected in December 2007. Boeing would expect to produce approximately 600 units during Long Range Initial Production (LRIP) 1. Follow on production contracts would bring the total kits produced to 6000 through 2011.