The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW

Military

The Perfect Choice
AUTHOR Major John P. Cushing Jr., USMC
CSC 1988
SUBJECT AREA Topical Issues
                        EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
TITLE:   THE PERFECT CHOICE
I.       Purpose:  To explain the capabilities and
flexibility offered by the  F/A-18 as a multi-purpose
strike fighter and discuss some of the problem areas
encountered throughout its development and operational use.
II.      Thesis:  United States Navy and Marine Corps
fighter/attack aircraft must have the flexibility to easily
upgrade their capabilities to keep pace with rapidly
changing and advancing technology, particularly in an era
of increased fiscal constraints and reduced military
spending.  In the near term the F/A-18 Hornet gives us this
flexibility.
III.    Backqround:  The F/A-18 Hornet is a very innovative
aircraft.  The heart of this unique aircraft -- its cockpit
- - incorporates state-of-the-art technology in its human
engineered design.  Three Digital Display Indicators
(DDI's) , an Up Front Control (UFC) , and a Head Up Display
(HUD) form the focal point of this advanced design
cockpit.  The HUD provides the pilot with essential flight
and weapon delivery information and eliminates the need to
look inside the cockpit during the critical phase of air
combat or surface attack.  A system designed by the
McDonnell Douglas Corporation is currently being evaluated
by the Navy that could replace the F/A-18 HUD.  This system
called "Agile Eye," takes the information currently
available to the pilot on the HUD and projects it on to the
visor of a redesigned, light weight, aerodynamic helmet
The advantages to the "Agile Eye" system are its cost, the
increased safety it provides during eject i one and the
expanded weapon system acquisition capapilities it provides
the pilot in the visual environment.  One possible
disadvantage that has been identified is the fact that the
helmet's visor is fixed and may degrade visual acuity under
the varying light conditions encountered during
air-combat-maneuvering (ACM) .  An extremely accurate
inertial navigation set (INS) ties in with a moveable map
display that keeps the pilot continually apprised of his
position over the ground.  The F/A-18's control stick and
throttles incorporate a desig called
hands-on-throttle-and-stick (HOTAS) .  HOTAS allows all the
combat critical functions of the weapon system to be
operated from switches and buttons on the throttles and
control stick.  As a multi-mission strike fighter the
HORNET is an outstanding blend of capabilities.  It is
capable of delivering over 70 types of air-to-ground
ordnance with pin-point accuracy.   In the air-to-air role
very few aircraft can compete with the F/A-18 is aerodynamic
and weapon system performance.   Navy Figher Weapon School
Instructors have endorsed the aircraft as one of the best
close-in dogfighters operating in the world today.
IV.    Problem Areas:   Although the Hornet is considered by
many to be an ideal compromise of both a fighter and an
attack aircraft, certain problems have cropped up, during
its initial  evaluation and during its operational use to
date, that have generated discussion.   Critics have
questioned its striking range and on station loiter
capabilities.   Additionally the quality and quantity of the
Electronic Counter Measure  (ECM)  equipment and Radar
Warning Receiver  (RWR)  gear has been questioned.   Just as
with all prior tactical aircraft, the Hornet has had other
system related problems that for the most part have been
solved.
V.      Summary:   Even with some of the problems the Hornet
has had through its development and operational use,  it
still provides the United States Navy and Marine Corps the
best overall compromise of capabilities of any operational
fighter/attack aircraft in the world today.   It has
demonstrated the systems flexibility to quickly and easily
be upgraded to keep pace with rapidly advancing
technology.   It  is the perfect choice for the United States
Marine Corps as a supporting arm.
                             OUTLINE
I.     Thesis:   United States Navy and Marine Corps
fighter/attack aircraft must have the flexibility to easily
upgrade their capabilities to keep pace with rapidly
changing and advancing technology, particularly in an era
of increased fiscal constraints and reduced military
spending.  In the near term the F/A-18 Hornet gives us this
flexibility.
II .   Systems descriptions and capabilities
       A.   Cockpit design and systems
            1.   HUD
            2.   "Agile Eye" system
                 -   description
                 -   advantages/disadvantages
            3.   DDI's
            4.   HI
                 -   moving map
                 -   INS
            5.   CNI
            6.   HOTAS
            7.   Cockpit visibility
       B.   Aircraft and weapons system capabilities
            1.   Air-to-ground
            2.   Air-to-air
            3.   Aerodynamic performance and handling
III.   Problem areas
       A.   Strike range
       B.   On station/loiter time
       C.   ECM/RWR
       D.   Others
IV.    Maintainability
                      THE PERFECT CHOICE
       Air warfare as we know it is changing at an alarming
rate, especially when you consider the technological
advances in equipment and weapons.   Greater ranges, faster
speeds, and  increased accuracy will  all  combine to make
future air-warfare unlike any air-war we have ever
exprienced.   Even third world countries, that could become
potential  adversaries, have acquired lethal,
state-of-the-art weapon systems and aircraft. Our
fighter/attack aircraft must have the flexibility to easily
upgrade their capabilities to keep pace with rapidly
changing and advancing technology, particularly in an era
of  increased fiscal contsraints and reduced military
spending.
       In the near term the F/A-18 Hornet gives us this
flexibility.   It is the finest fighter/attack aircraft
operating  in the world today.   I can say that without
hesitation after having flown it for over 400 hours and
also having flown against it in simulated air-to-air combat
as a Top Gun instructor for three years.
       The Hornet is an  innovative and unique aircraft.
Perhaps one of its most advanced, visible features  is the
heart of the airplane --  its cockpit.   It is obvious upon
first  inspection that a vast amount of sweat and tears went
into the human engineering design of this multi-mission
cockpit.   One of the first things a pilot new to the Hornet
will  notice  is the absence of traditional flight
instruments.   Three Cathode Ray Tubes  (CRT's)  and an Up
Front Control  (UFC)  replace the analog gauges.   At eye
level  there  is a Head-Up-Display (HUD) , a set of two clear
combining glasses upon which the necessary flight
information  is projected.
       The HUD is currently the primary flight instrument,
presenting information such as the aircraft's airspeed,
vertical velocity, attitude, heading, mach number, G, and
steering to destination.   Delivery information and profiles
for both air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons can also be
presented on the HUD in the form of aiming reticles, target
designators, bomb fall lines, search circles,  lock-on range
and release cues, and weapon counts.   The HUD eliminates
the need for the Hornet pilot to look inside the cockpit
during the terminal phase of air combat or surface attack
       Although the Hornet's HUD provides a quantum leap  in
capability over older aircraft without a HUD, a system is
currently being evaluated by the Navy that could eventually
replace the HUD.   This system, which is called "Agile Eye,"
was developed by McDonnell Douglas Corporation, one of the
prime contractors for the F/A-18.1    The major component
of the "Agile Eye" system is a redesigned light-weight
helmet that takes the information currently available to
the pilot on the HUD and projects it on to the visor of the
helmet.  Along with the obvious advantage of improved
situational awareness that this system provides the pilot
it also dramatically improves the acquisition capabilities
of the weapon system with in the visual environment.2
With the "Agile Eye" system the pilot can command his
weapon system to lock-on to a target that is with in the
gimbal limits of the weapon system, vice being limited to
the arbitrary limits imposed by the HUD.
       The "Agile Eye" system was recently demonstrated in an
air combat simulator where a group of tactical aviators
were pitted against each other, sometimes with the new
system, sometimes without.3  The results were lopsidedly
in favor of the new system users who shot twice as many
air-to-air missiles and scored twice as many kills.  The
pilots without the new system quickly realized something
was up when their opponents began shooting at them without
pointing the nose of their aircraft at the target, an
inherent advantage of this system.  The pilot with "Agile
Eye" can turn his head toward the target, lock-on the
weapon system, shoot, and let the missile do the
maneuvering.  Meanwhile, he can go on to dealing with the
next target.
       For example, with a bandit (enemy aircraft) 40 degrees
to the left of the nose, the pilot with "Agile Eye" can get
a shot off in one to two seconds .  On the other hand, a
pilot forced to use the HUD takes four to five seconds to
roll-in, lock-on to the target and fire.  By that time his
opponent's missile maybe almost to him; now he maybe more
concerned with executing a missile defense than shooting
back.
       This system offers other advantages along with its
dramatic improvements in the target acquisition process and
the increased situational awareness.  The aerodynamically
redesigned helmet is twenty percent lighter (2.09 pounds)
than the Navy's lightweight form fit helmet currently in
use.  At nine G's, the current helmet will weigh about 29
pounds, while the new "Agile Eye" helmet will weigh about
23 pounds.4  The lighter helmet makes it easier for the
pilot to move his head under the force of G and
significantly improves his ability to keep sight during an
air-to-air engagement.5
       Safety is also improved.  When the helmet enters the
airstream during an ejection, it becomes an aerodynamic
surface.  A helmet with a round top (current Navy form fit)
can produce lift, especially during a high-speed ejection,
and give the pilot's head a sharp upward pull
Conventional helmets are ripped of during bailout about a
quarter of the time.  The flat area on top of the "Agile
Eye" helmet can cut aerodynamic lift by as much as half
during a high speed ejection.   The new helmet also has a
repositioned center of gravity which helps position the
pilot's head correctly during the ejection sequence and
helps prevent neck injury.
       Perhaps the biggest advantage to the "Agile Eye"
system is its cost.  While the F/A-18 HUD costs about
$150,000.00, McDonnel Douglas estimates that the complete
"Agile Eye" helmet system,  including tracker and avionics,
will be 25 percent cheaper
       The only drawback to the new helmet, according to some
tactical aviators who were briefed on the system,  is the
fact that the visor is fixed and cannot be slid up and
down during the course of an air-to-air engagement.  The
concern is that under the varying light conditions that
normally occur during the course of an engagement, visual
acuity will be hampered by not having the ability to raise
and lower the visor.   Unfortunately, according to the
engineers who designed the system, a sliding visor would
degrade the accuracy of the acquisition capabilities of the
system.   A possible remedy to this problem, that should be
investigated,  is to make the darkness of the visor
adjustable allowing the pilot to change it to suit the
environmental conditions.
       Until  the "Agile Eye" system is fully evaluated we
will  have to be satisfied with the HUD.   The HUD is only
one part of the Hornet's multi-purpose display group which,
includes the left and the right Digital Display Indicators
(DDI's)  and the center Horizontal  Indicator (HI).  These
three CRT's are utilized for the various system displays
that include stores management, radar, engine monitor, data
link, built in test, flight control system status, Forward
Looking Infrared (FLIR), Laser Detector Tracker (LDT) , and
navigation.6   Additionally the  information presented on
the HUD can be presented on either DDI at the pilot's
option.
       Functional control of the systems and weapons  is
accomplished through the use of twenty push-button tiles
that surround each CRT.   The left and right DDI's are
physically and functionally interchangeable, giving the
Hornet pilot the ability to display desired information on
either  indicator.   The center CRT, commonly referred to as
the Horizontal  Indicator  (HI) ,  is the primary navigation
instrument providing the pilot with aircraft steering and
navigation information with a projected moving map
superimposed under the display.   There is a 500, 000:1 and a
2,000,000:1 map available, depending upon the scale
selected by the pilot.
       The moving map ties in with Inertial Navigation Set
(INS)  and keeps the pilot continually apprised of the
aircraft's position over the ground at a glance, without
any external  reference.   In addition to providing the
aircraft's present location, the INS provides the pilot
with the aircraft's true airspeed, speed over the ground,
wind direction and velocity, and distance and time-to-go to
the selected way-point or target.   Having this  information
at his fingertips greatly reduces the pilot's workload on a
low-level-strike mission.
       It has been my experience that after one hour of
flight time, even on an air combat maneuvering  (ACM)
sortie, without updating the INS that the average accuracy
of the system has been within 4,000 feet.   I find that
impressive especially when I remember flying the F-4
Phantom where the primary means of navigation was a TACAN,
which much of the time was of questionable accuracy.7
       All the Communication Navigation Instrumentation  (CNI)
functions in the Hornet are controlled on an easy to reach
up-front control  (UFC)  located on the main  instrument panel
just under the HUD.   The UFC is used to select the
auto-pilot modes and control the IFF, TACAN, ILS, data
link, two multi-band radios and the ADF.8  Vertigo
inducing lower console activities necessary in other
aircraft are eliminated in this configuration.
       The Hornet's control  stick and throttles also reflect
some pretty sound human engineering.   The pilot is not
distracted by having to move his hand from knob to toggle
switch to lever.   A truly optimized design, all combat
critical functions for an air-to-air or air-to-grouud
attack can be operated from the throttles under the left
hand or on the control stick in the right hand.   This
system is commonly referred to as hands-on throttle and
stick  (HOTAS).   HOTAS greatly simplifies managing the
weapons system in a dynamic environment.   For example, when
the pilot chooses the air-to-air weapons master mode, which
he can do by actuating the weapon select switch on the
control  stick, the appropriate radar search parameters are
automatically selected and displayed for the chosen weapon.
       The HOTAS feature makes the Hornet a one-switch
airplane in that a single switch fully configures the
aircraft to perform the required function.  The pilot may
shift at will from air-to-ground master mode to air-to-air
master mode by the use of HOTAS while performing high "G"
maneuvers  in reaction to the current threat.9   This
weapon switchology is the simplest and quickest of any
current fighter and should result in  increased aerial
kills.   Anyone who has flown an older generation fighter
will quickly appreciate the flexibility this system offers.
       The pilot's ability to see the target and potential
threats is essential  in a combat aircraft.   In an aerial
engagement loss of sight usually means losing the fight.
In many fighter aircraft, cockpit structure inhibits
visibility making it hard for the pilot to see what is
behind him.  An enemy fighter will find no blind spot
behind the F/A-18.  With a little effort the Hornet pilot
has a full 360-degrees visibility and can even see six
degrees below the tail.  The first time you dogfight the
aircraft you appreciate this outstanding feature.
       Ever since the Department of the Navy signed the
contract to buy the F/A-18 in 1976, there has been a lot of
controversy and discussion over the performance
capabilities of the Hornet.  There are many factors that
affect an aircraft's performance.  These include physical
design, engines, fuel capacity and flight control
mechanization.  These factors determine the aircraft's
maximum speed, climbing ability, ceiling, ability to
accelerate, and how many G's the airplane can sustain.
There are both fighter and attack aircraft in operation
today that can exceed to a minor extent the Hornet's
capabilities in one or two of these performance areas;
however, the Hornet is still the ideal over all compromise
considering the mission requirements of a figher/ attack
aircraft
       Unlike the F-4 Phantom which was designed as an
interceptor then retrofitted to be used as a fighter and
attack aircraft, the Hornet was designed from the ground up
for the multi-mission, strike fighter role.  Because of its
digital, multiplex avionics package, the Hornet has more
systems modes and data available to the pilot than in the
three cockpits of the two aircraft -- the two seat F-4 and
the single seat A-7 -- it was designed to replace.   The
Hornet will perform equally well as a fighter or light
attack aircraft and in fact routinely demonstrates the
ability to accomplish both missions on the same sortie.
       The Hornet can carry over 12,000 pounds of ordnance on
nine weapons stations.  The aircraft is compatible with
over 70 different types of air-to-ground munitions
including air-to-surface missiles, guided bombs,
conventional bombs, cluster weapons, rockets and nuclear
ordnance.  The aircraft's internal 20mm cannon with 580
rounds is also available for either air-to-ground or
air-to-air attack.  For extended range, three
interchangeable 330-gallon external fuel tanks can be
loaded on two wing stations and the centerline station.
Additionally the Hornet is capable of carrying two
air-to-ground sensors, the Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR)
set and a Laser Detector Tracker (LDT), giving the pilot
the ability to attack a surface target at night without
illumination and to locate any point or target illuminated
by a laser target designator
       In an environment where accuracy is more important
than the total number of bombs scattered about the target
area, the Hornet is the right aircraft for the mission.
That is not to say that the Hornet cannot carry a sizable
load, but that the bombs that it does carry will hit what
the pilot aims at.   With two computer assisted modes
available, the F/A-18 is a state-of-the-art
five-to-seven-mil system.  In simple terms, the Hornet will
put a greater percentage of bombs on target on the first
pass, using  less ordnance to kill the target and
eliminating the necessity to make perilous reattacks.
       Most pilots on their first, repeat first,
air-to-ground training hop in the F/A-18 will put at least
half their bombs within 40 to 50 feet of the target and
with several  additional training hops reduce that margin by
about 10 to 15 feet.  This degree of accuracy approaches
the dispersion error  inherent to the bomb itself.   An
experienced F-4 crew with a dedicated two week concentrated
work up would be satisfied with a 70 - 100 foot circular
error probable  (CEP).10  The difference is obviously not
pilot skill but the new technology in the F/A- 18.
       As an air superiority fighter  loaded with two AIM-7M
Sparrow  (intermediate range, radar guided missiles),
between two and six AIM-9M Sidewinder  (shortrange, heat
seeking missiles), and the
20mm internal cannon with 580 rounds, the F/A-18 is truly
an awesome machine.   The Hornet has the performance,
agility and weapon system to find,  identify and destroy the
threat.   The multi-mode capabilities of the APG-65 radar,
available as a result of advanced digital technology in the
aircraft's mission computers, give the Hornet long-range,
all-aspect, detection capability on a display free of all
returns except for airborne targets.   A fully coherent,
pulse doppler radar system makes the F/A-18 an all weather
capable interceptor.   At the pilot's option, he can command
the system to automatically track and prioritize multiple
airborne targets, while the system simultaneously displays
target data in a straight forward, easy-to-understand
manner.   This track-while-scan  (TWS)  feature is especially
valuable when the pilot is pitted against a numerically
superior adversary force that  is using complex intercept
tactics.   The system also incorporates Electronic Counter
Counter Measures  (ECCM)  features through adaptive
programmable software that will  automatically apply
countermeasures to enemy deception.
       Outstanding handling qualities through out an extensive
flight envelope, combined with a high thrust-to-weight
ratio, an efficient aerodynamic design, and the computer
controlled  leading and trailing edge flaps give the Hornet
pilot the ability to out perform most adversaries in  the
visual  dogfight arena.   The weapons system ties in with
this outstanding maneuverability by giving the pilot a
choice of several acquisition modes.   With the movement of
one finger the pilot can, without ever looking inside the
cockpit, lock the radar on to the target in order to employ
the weapon of his choice.   These factors combined make the
Hornet a very easy aircraft to fly in the air-to-air
environment.
       Instructors at the Navy Fighter Weapons School, who
fly air combat maneuvering  (ACM)  every day and are some of
the best aggressor and fighter pilots in the world, have
said "even new pilots inexperienced at ACM do extremely
well in the ACM arena in the Hornet."   It is my opinion
that the F/A-18 is superior to any operational fighter in
the world today in a close-in dogfight.
       A system that contributes greatly to the Hornet's
lethality is its gunsight.   Called a gun-director,  it will
very accurately predict where the bullets being fired will
go.   Using this state-of-the-art system the pilot will hit
the target if he fires in-range with the pipper on the
target.   Pilots on their very first  live fire air-to-air
gunnery training hop generally put bullets through the
banner
       Although the Hornet is considered by many to be an
outstanding compromise of both a fighter and an attack
aircraft, certain problem areas have generated discussion
within the community.   One of the more controversial of
these issues, that has nagged the aircraft since its
introduction, is the question of legs.  "Legs" is a slang
term for range and an aircraft with good range is said to
have  long  legs.   Former F-4 Phantom pilots, who have
transitioned to flying the Hornet, for the most part
consider the F/A-18 to have  long legs; however, there are
others who disagree.   The  issue  is mainly a matter of
perspective and depends upon which environment or scenario
you operate the aircraft.
       Operating  in a land based scenario, configured with
three external  tanks and 4,000 pounds of MK-80 series
ordnance, the F/A-18 is capable of striking a target that
is over 500 nautical miles  (nm)  from its home base,
executing a 50nm low-level  ingress and egress, without
refueling, and is still able to return to home base with
enough gas to divert on a bingo profile over 200nm landing
with 1,500 pounds of fuel.   This impressive capability has
repeatedly been demonstrated on  long-range training
missions flown out of MCAS El Toro, California, to a target
area near NAS Fallon, Nevada.
       On the other hand, operating in a sea based mode from
an aircraft carrier there is reason for concern, not only
in terms of striking range but for the loiter capability or
on station time.   The aircraft that the F/A-18 replaced  in
the Navy, the A-7 Corsair, had a significant performance
advantage over the Hornet with its ability to loiter for a
long period of time.   With the reconfiguration of Navy
Carrier Air Wings, replacing the aging A-7s with F/A-18s,
the Carrier Air Wings have been forced to modify their
operating procedures to compensate for this performance
difference.   More frequent aerial refueling is required
which puts an increased strain on the already very
limited tanker assets.
       In the near term there  is no easy way to overcome this
disadvantage; however, the dual mission capability of the
F/A-18 does offset it to some degree.  In many cases the
A-7 required dedicated fighter support to accomplish its
mission because of its extremely limited air-to-air
capability.   The Hornet on the other hand is capable of
providing its own fighter support, reducing the total
number of aircraft required to accomplish a given mission.
       Another area that has generated concern in the F/A-18
community is the quality and the quantity of Electronic
Counter Measure  (ECM)  equipment and Radar Warning Receiver
(RWR)  gear.   Although specifics cannot be discussed in an
unclassified paper, the first generation of ECM equipment
and RWR gear designed for the F/A-18 did not perform as
required.   Subsequent modifications to the equipment and
gear have  improved their capabilities; however, there is
still a requirement for better performance.  The
introduction of the airborne-self-protection-jammer (ASPJ)
in the F/A-18C in 1989 is advertised to fulfill the
requirement.
       The other side of this problem is the quantity of
equipment and gear available to outfit fleet aircraft.
Unfortunately the Navy policy, as a budget reducing
measure,  is to only purchase enough ECM equipment and RWR
gear to outfit one third of the fleet aircraft.   The
detrimental  ramification of this policy is that a large
percentage of fleet pilots do not have the opportunity to
train with the equipment and gear on a regular basis.   In
fact  it  is possible that the first time some pilots
may see the equipment and gear is when they have to use it
in combat for the first time.   This  is obviously less than
the optimum situation by a long shot.
       There are a few other areas where the F/A-18 has
undergone growing pains.   There have been problems with
formers in the vertical tail assembly, with the landing
gear struts and linkages, with the engines and with the
radar.   Most of these have been resolved to a satisfactory
degree.   For an aircraft as sophisticated as the Hornet
problems such as these are not unusual.  The F-14 and F-15
as an example had many more problems and both aircraft
still  suffer today with some major  limitations because of
their engines.
       An easily maintained aircraft by design, the Hornet
maintenance concept allows for rapid fault isolation, quick
access to the failed component, and easy removal and
replacement. Fleet 3M data has proven the F/A-18 to be one
of the most easily maintained, high performance jet combat
aircraft ever to see fleet service. 11  The Hornet
requires less than 25 maintenance man hours per flight
hour, half as much as other operational fleet fighters.  In
over 400 hours of flight time I have had one total radar
failure and one airborne mission abort for an aircraft
system failure.
       The United States Marines area powerful force for the
preservation of peace.  Our power resides in our ability to
flexibly apply overwhelming force to overcome our
adversaries, if force becomes our only alternative.  The
Hornet makes a giant step forward for us as a supporting
arm.  Easy to fly, easy to fight, the Hornet gives Marine
Fighter Attack Aviation a modern and capable means to gain
and maintain air superiority, and then to turn and deliver
heavy ordnance with pinpoint accuracy in support of engaged
ground forces.  Many nations, world-wide, have access to
modern western and Soviet technology.  Both east and  west
have proven capable of fielding sophisticated modern
aircraft of advanced design (F- 4, F-15, F-16, MIG-29,
SU-27, etc.).  The Hornet provides us the means to overcome
this threat throughout the foreseeable future.
       Ask any pilot flying the Hornet today and he will tell
you: "If he had to fly a fighter in combat tomorrow the
Hornet would be the "perfect choice."
                              NOTES
            1The "Agile Eye" system and its capabilities
were briefed by representatives of McDonnell Douglas
Corporation to the staff at the Navy Fighter Weapons School
in January 1987.
            2The visual enviroment is that portion of the
aircombat arena that the pilot can see with the naked eye.
It is generally the air space within five nautical miles of
his aircraft.
            3A tactical aviator is a pilot that flys a
combat aircraft like the F-14. F-15, F-16 or F/A-18 etc.
            4"G" is a term used to describe the force of
gravity multiplied by a designated factor.   As an example,
two G's indicates twice the force of gravity.
            5An air-to-air engagement is a dogfight between
two or more aircraft
            6The stores management is a display in the
F/A-18 that  indicates to the pilot the number and type of
weapons he has loaded on the aircraft
            7A TACAN is a tactical air navigation system
used in most military aircraft as one means of navigation.
            8The IFF, ILS and ADF are avionics systems used
in many military and civilian aircraft.   The IFF is a radar
interrogator/transponder; the ILS is an  instrument landing
system; the ADF is an automatic direction finder.
            9The F/A-18 has three master modes that it
operates in: air-to-air; air-to-ground; navigation.
            10Circular error probable  (CEP)  is computed by
adding the miss distance of all bombs dropped, subtracting
the closest and furthest miss distance and then dividing
the remainder by the total  number of bombs dropped minus
two.
            113M data is the maintenance, material and
management data used to track an aircraft's history.
                         BIBLIOGRAPHY
1.   HQMC Memorandum for the Record, MP 31802251, subj:
F/A-18 Distribution Meeting, 25 February 1988.
2.   Lt. Col. Rick Stearns USMC, HQMC Aviation Plans and
Policy, personal  interview about F/A-18, HQMC, Washington
D.C.  (16 March 1988)
3.   McDonnell Douglas Corporation, F/A-18 Contractor, system
briefing on the "Agile Eye" system, Navy Fighter Weapons
School, San Diego, California,  (January 1987)
4.   McDonnell Douglas Corporation.   McDonnel Aircraft
Company. F/A-18 Avionic Subsystem Handbook, unclassified
section.   25 August 1986.
5.   U.S. Navy. Naval Air Systems Command.   F/A-18 NATOPS
Flight Manual, 1 December 1985



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list


One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger - by Matthew Yglesias