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The need for accelerated integration of the multifunctional information distribution system in the FA-18C Hornet

by Koyama, William S.

Abstract (Summary)
The FA-18 Hornet is a fourth-generation, supersonic, multi-role aircraft designed and built by the Boeing Aircraft Company, primarily for use as a single-seat US Navy and Marine Corps carrier-based strike/fighter. The Hornet has also been successful in the dual seat variant as both a trainer, and as a land-based aircraft for the Marines. All A through D variants have been marketed internationally as well. While the newer “E” and “F” variants are significantly different from the A through D variants in size and range and endurance capabilities, the avionics suites and capabilities are nearly identical. Except where noted, discussions of operations and aircraft/aircrew workload refer to single seat operation, as that is the majority of the combat operation of the FA-18s currently in the inventory. The purpose of this study was to examine the need (from specific operational experience) in the single seat FA-18 for a jam resistant, long range, high bandwidth datalink for the Strike mission, and how the Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) and its integration into the Hornet can fill that need. The author‘s operational analysis was done primarily on personal notes and observations during combat operations in Afghanistan October through December of 2001 and combat iv operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom from February through April of 2003. The capabilities and limitations of the current LINK-4 system in the FA-18, the newer Digital Communication System’s Variable Message Format and finally the MIDS/LINK-16 systems were considered, along with difficulties of MIDS integration into the current FA- 18. This analysis was done partially on data and experience obtained as the Project Officer assigned to the MIDS program, however all conclusions and recommendations are independent of the test program. v
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School:The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

School Location:USA - Tennessee

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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