After field-testing the Navy’s Maritime Augmented Guidance system, the USS George H.W. Bush returned to Norfolk on April 26th. This system is equipped with Maritime Augmented Guidance with Integrated Controls for Carrier Approach and Recovery Precision Enabling Technologies software. Referred to as the MAGIC CARPET, this software is made for F/A-18E/F/G aircraft. It can automatically maneuver based on jet speed and angle of attack to the ground surface.
Lt. Cmdr. Dan Marzluff, assistant officer for air operations, said, “This software greatly reduces misses and wave-offs, which translates into more time on-mission and makes us an overall more effective force. The majority of flight operations with the system were touch-and-goes. We didn't have to actually land to determine how the software takes the aircraft to the flight deck." This has proven useful to reduce time and increase efficiency while carrying out important missions.
The initial tests took place in Maryland at the Naval Air Systems Command. The crew carried out carrier qualification (CQ) operations and carrier-based launches. They also took advantage of this time to train officers in a safer environment so as to prepare them to carry out the same tasks in a combat zone. Staff Sergeant Joshua Bryan stated, “We're getting our pilots qualified for carrier-based operations in legacy F/A-18s, and this underway was the last phase of their training before the pilots are fully qualified.
Three of our Marine pilots are heading to the fleet right after this underway, and one of those pilots is going to USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). All of us in VMFAT 101 have been very pleased with the carrier keeping up with our training and getting us our qualifications quickly and efficiently." Bryan works on VMFAT 101 as lead controller on the flight deck. The Navy hopes that more operations such as this will increase personnel safety and decrease injuries.
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