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Super Hornet begins combat operations. (Airscoop).

The F/A-18E Super Hornet participated in its first-ever combat action on 6 November 2002 when aircraft from Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) fired on Iraqi targets in response to hostile acts against coalition aircraft monitoring the southern no-fly zone. Operation Southern Watch aircraft, including the Lincoln Super Hornets, used precision-guided weapons to target two surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems near A1 Kut, approximately 100 miles southeast of Baghdad, and a command and control facility near Tallil, about 160 miles southeast of Baghdad.

Coalition strikes in the no-fly zone are executed as a self-defense measure in response to Iraqi hostile threats and acts against coalition forces and their aircraft. This strike came after Iraqi forces fired antiaircraft artillery at coalition aircraft in the no-fly zone and moved the SAM systems into the no-fly zone in violation of United Nations resolutions.

The last coalition strikes in the southern no-fly zone were on 22 October 2002 against a command and control communications facility near A1 Jarrah and an air defense operations center near Tallil. Coalition aircraft never target civilian populations or infrastructure, and go to painstaking lengths to avoid injury to civilians and damage to civilian facilities.

Herc Helps with Hawkeye Testing

An NC-130H Hercules test bed, right, has been flight qualified for the Radar Modernization Program (RMP) of the E-2C Hawkeye. Lockheed Martin will produce five radar systems to be used for qualification, reliability and flight testing, followed by a full-scale production program that will outfit 75 fleet E-2Cs by 2020. In addition to the new radar, the RMP/Advanced Hawkeyes will also have theater missile defense capabilities, multisensor integration, a tactical cockpit, new communications suite and generators, improved identification-friend-or-foe system, and an updated mission computer and software. The first prototype aircraft is scheduled for delivery in 2007.

For the Record

An MH-60S of Helicopter Support Squadron 6 operating from Winston Churchill (DDG 81) accomplished the first hoist rescue at sea for the Knighthawk helicopter on 24 September 2002.

The last of five H-1 upgrade program test aircraft flew on 4 October at Patuxent River, Md., with a 1.5-hour shakedown flight.

Bataan (LHD 5) concluded planned maintenance availability on 10 October 2002 at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Virginia.

Mishaps

The aircrew of an F-14 Tomcat of Fighter Squadron 101 was rescued following a crash in the Gulf of Mexico on 3 October 2002.

Four Strike Fighter Squadron 41 aircrew members were killed when two F/A-18F Super Hornets suffered a mid-air collision in the southern California operating area on 18 October 2002.

A T-44 King Air suffered Class A damage during a severe storm at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas, on 23 October 2002.

An F/A-18D Hornet of Strike Fighter Squadron 125 suffered Class A damage when the landing gear collapsed on arrested landing following a ramp strike at NAS North Island, Calif., on 31 October 2002.

An F/A-18C Hornet of Strike Fighter Squadron 34 operating from George Washington (CVN 73) was lost in the Adriatic Sea on 3 November 2002.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:navial aviation news briefs
Author:Leland, Wendy
Publication:Naval Aviation News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2003
Words:500
Previous Article:Grampaw Pettibone.
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