Skip to comments.Tomcat pilots test the newest Harrier system
Posted on 05/19/2011 9:14:18 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
Tomcat pilots test the newest Harrier system
Story by Lance Cpl. Laura Cardoso
Marine Attack Squadron 311 completed testing on the next generation of the AV-8B Harrier operating system May 12, 2011.
Harrier 6.0, a software, hardware and weapons upgrade, specifically for the harrier, was designed to improve the efficiency of the aircraft.
"We are always striving for improvements," said Maj. William Maples, Naval Air Weapons Station in China Lake, Calif., harrier branch head. "We work towards more capability and better support for the guys on the ground. It's the nature of the business. We are always trying to improve our software, hardware and weapons capabilities on the airframe."
System testing started in March and is scheduled to end in mid July 2011.
Designed by members of NAWS China Lake, the new system is expected to improve upon the old system. Improvements include a digital bomb rack that can carry three smart weapons at a time as opposed to just one, integration of more user-friendly software and advanced medium range air-to-air missile capabilities.
"They are able to carry more smart weapons, and air-to-ground weapons, giving us better protection for both the pilot and Marines on the ground, as well as the ships," said Maples. "When we are deployed on the ships, we will have better protection of the MEU's (Marine Expeditionary Unit). In addition to protecting the pilot, it also gives us better capability in the cockpit to shorten the time to deploy weapons."
NAWS China Lake, which provides and maintains land, facilities and other assets that support the Navy's research, development, testing and evaluation of new weapons systems, arrived with three harriers, four pilots, six analysts and engineers to evaluate the results of VMA-311's feedback.
"The biggest capability is that harriers can now carry up to three smart weapons on each rack, which gives us more options when in Afghanistan," said Capt. Jesse Pitzrick, VMA-311 quality assurance officer in charge. "More was added to the system that improved overall flight operations. It was great working with NAWS China Lake. They put a lot of hard work into this system and we are looking forward to seeing it in the fleet."
According to China Lake members, the outcome of the visit proved to be successful.
"The results were outstanding," said Maples. "We had a completion rate of 95 percent excess of what we scheduled. Also, a number of fleet pilots got to provide their input. We had outstanding support from MAG-13, MALS-13 and VMA-311. It couldn't have gone better in my eyes. I want to give a big thank you to the three for all the support they offered. We enjoyed working with them and they were a tremendous help," Maples added.
The new system is scheduled to reach the fleet in December 2011.
Photo by Lance Cpl. Laura Cardoso
Cpl. Manuel Garcia, Marine Attack Squadron 311 plane captain, checks an AV-8B Harrier before it leaves the station May 10, 2011. This, along with two other harriers, contain the newest operating system, Harrier 6.0. The system has upgrades in software, hardware and weapons capabilities. Several of VMA-311's pilots had the opportunity to test the system and report their findings to Naval Air Weapons Station in China Lake, Calif. The new software is slated to hit the fleet in December 2011.
(Hi-Res version at site)
I believe he means tomcat Squadron. looking them up VMA-311
For some reason, I “don’t have permission” to view that photo.
Glad to see that the Marine Corps is continuing updates on the Harrier. They’re going to continue to fly the AV-8B for at least another decade if not longer.
That’s because the pattern is full. Negative on the viewing, the pattern is full.
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