New multiple-carriage bomb-racks from EDO Marine and Aircraft systems (Hall 2, A10) can effectively double the number of smart weapons that can be carried by Lockheed Martin F-16 and Boeing F-18 tactical strike aircraft.

EDO's BRU-55 and BRU-57 ‘smart racks' can be added to the aircraft with virtually no impact to the its operational flight programme and no modification to its hardware.

Patented electronics are installed in existing BRU-33 vertical ejector racks to enable the carriage of not only "dumb" stores but a wide array of newly developed "smart" stores.

Central to the system is a bus buffer assembly that permits the aircraft to communicate with the carried stores as if they were on the aircraft's main data bus. Once modified with these electronics and USAF standard BRU-46/A ejector units the BRU-33 is designated BRU-57. The BRU-57 is fully flight qualified for the F-16 and is now in full production.

"The cost of the product is covered in less than three missions," says Maureen Koerwer, operations manager at EDO. "Anyone with a F-16, or F18 should have one of these. If you can double the load out on the aircraft, you can halve the amount of missions flown or half the amount of aircraft you use.

"Also the BRU-55 and 57's will only accept 1,000lb or 500lb missiles. Using smaller, more accurate weapons is better than dropping larger weapons in a less precise way."

Source: Flight Daily News