Tactical Air Support, Inc. first to deploy advanced, embedded infrared search-and-track sensors versus US Air Force and US Navy aviators


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Reno, Nevada – October 12, 2022:

The contractor whose pilots contest Air Force and Navy aviators in exercises will be the first to do so with a stealthy infrared sensor system designed to rival those of America’s most advanced adversaries.

Tactical Air Support Inc. (Tactical Air) and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) successfully completed initial flight testing of TacIRSTTM, a new class of embedded, long-range infrared search-and-track sensor (IRST). That made Tactical Air’s F-5 Advanced Tiger the first fighter aircraft to fly and test TacIRST as part of the companies’ ongoing joint developmental program.

For Tactical Air, integrating TacIRST is key to the evolution of its F-5AT advanced threat replication system supporting the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force adversary contracts.

“We are extremely grateful to Lockheed Martin for the innovative approach taken on this system, and the collaborative effort on their part to advance this very important program,” said Tactical Air CEO R.C. Thompson.

TacIRST is a multifunction sensor system with an open architecture developed by Lockheed Martin to provide a range of reconnaissance and threat-warning capabilities for both crewed and uncrewed aircraft. The passive, embedded sensor works in radar-denied environments while complimenting electronic warfare tactics. TacIRST’s uniquely small form factor makes it barely visible on the nose of the F-5’s fuselage.

“Unlike the podded solutions most often used to employ jamming and IRST in the air-to-air mission set, our TacIRST and advanced DRFM jammer are fully integrated into the Advanced Tigers’ fuselage, open mission systems architecture, and modern cockpit displays,” Thompson said. “In taking this innovative approach, we avoid significant aircraft performance penalties inherent in podded solutions and retain the F-5AT’s impressive performance envelope across the board.”

Terry Hoehn, Director of Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Threat Warning Systems program, said the companies plan to integrate and test additional TacIRST capabilities on the F-5.

“We anticipated the need for advanced sensors like TacIRST that will make pilots’ missions more survivable and lethal against current and future adversaries,” Hoehn said. “We’re proud to support Tactical Air’s work to prepare America’s best aviators for 21st Century conflict.”

About Tactical Air Support, Inc.


About Lockheed Martin

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT) is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 114,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.

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