Air International 2015-05
M.Ayton - Dust, Devils & Development /Military/
VX-31 recently completed testing and integration of two modifications for the AV-8B Harrier II: an improved AIM-120 AMRAAM missile weapons engagement zone model, and the MIL-STD-1760 cable to the aircraft's outboard stations to enable carriage of smart weapons.
A Dust Devils’ AV-8B Harrier II passes through a canyon close to China Lake during a mission.
The Dust Devils are responsible for all AV-8B Harrier performance, flying qualities, structures, mission system software and weapons testing for the US Marine Corps. The squadron flies two variants: the AV-8B Harrier II Plus equipped with the APG-65 radar (on photo) and the AV-8B Harrier Night Attack variant.
The AV-8B Harrier Night Attack variant.
The AV-8B now uses the BRU-70 digital improved triple ejector rack (DITER) that enables the aircraft to carry three GPS-guided weapons on a single station. A DITER can be fitted to the outer pylons (as shown) giving the aircraft four GPS-guided compatible stations.
Dust Devils 215, F/A-18F Super Hornet BuNo 165793/’DD215’ launches an AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missile during developmental testing of the Block II version.
Dust Devils’ F/A-18F Super Hornet BuNo 165666/’DD201’ releases ten GBU-31 JDAMs over the China Lake weapons range.
Dust Devils’ Super Hornets loaded with live GBU-31 JDAMs.
EA-18G BuNo 168377/’DD523' carries a standard Growler payload comprising an external fuel tank and an ALQ-99 pod under each wing. The upper part of each pylon is marked with an orange patch denoting a test fitting.
Испытания Growler продолжаются и в 2010 году, на фотографии - самолет 31-й опытной эскадрильи, дислоцированной на авиабазе Чайна-Лейк. Первой в октябре 2009 года состояния эксплуатационной готовности достигла 132-я эскадрилья РЭБ "Scorpions".
An EA-18G Growler assigned to VX-31 returns to Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake over the city of Ridgecrest, California.
VX-31's EA-18G Growler project office is completing tests of the SCS H10, start­ing the follow-on H12 and supporting the Royal Australian Air Force as it prepares to receive the aircraft.
VX-31 continues to operate F/A-18C Hornet BuNo 165210 which was painted in a full-colour test paint scheme to mark the Centennial of Naval Aviation in 2011.