Assessment: New pod will enable F-18s to detect stealth fighters

The US Navy brought in these kinds of pods for the F-18 Block 3 to carry out tests and checks, and later this year will put the new equipment into service 

Photo by Staff Sgt. James Merriman - U.S. Air Forces Central Command Public Affairs

Photographs published recently by the US Navy show a new type of technology: an F-18F Super Hornet operating in the Middle East, carrying on its underbelly a pod with state-of-the-art infrared sensors that are capable, allegedly, to detect stealth fighters. 

The DIVIDS website of the Pentagon published on September 30 a picture of an F-18 fighter carrying a pod containing an infrared search and track (IRST) system. The sensor that looks like a small black button is at the front of the pod on the underbelly of the fighter plane. Sputnik News reports that according to experts this system has the capability to penetrate via hostile tracking systems, including systems of stealth fighters, and locate planes with small signatures as well as small unmanned aircraft.    

The Pentagon website said that the plane that was photographed was on a patrol mission as part of the war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The US Navy website USNI News reported that the Navy brought in these kinds of pods for the F-18 Block 3 to carry out testing and checks, and later this year will put the new equipment into service. 

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