From Aviationweek.com 2006 December

U.S. Navy officials have chosen F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Radar Altimeters, MH-60R/S Air Data Computers and newer ARN-153 advanced digital tactical airborne navigation systems for EA-6B Prowlers from a top-10 list of problematic avionic systems to be worked on this fiscal year.

These projects were chosen depending on how close they were to a proposed fix (usually a redesign or qualification of a similar modern component), urgency of need, return on investment and the ability to fix the problem.

The F/A-18E/F altimeters are wearing out faster than planned due to vibrations, Naval Air Systems Command officials said. A shock-mounted tray will be installed to eliminate this failure, which in turn should bring performance up to F/A-18C/D Hornet models. This change is expected to save more than $10 million in repair costs over the next 10 years, and $25 million over the lifecycle of the jet, officials said.

The MH-60R/S computer's unit has a diaphragm seal leak that requires it to be replaced every three years. Army Blackhawk helicopters already have an enhanced solid-state version. Installing this upgrade into the Navy helos coming off the production line is expected to save $7.5 million in repair costs over the next 20 years, according to officials.

Finally, the Prowlers are the last users of the old ARN-84 tactical navigation system, which is only lasting 36 hours on the aircraft before needing replacement.

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