- Project Kahu
1986, the Royal New Zealand Air Forceinitiated Project Kahu (named after the Swamp Harrier) — a major upgrade for its A-4 Skyhawks which included the installation of a Westinghouse AN/APG-66radar optimized for maritime tracking, HOTAScontrols and a 'glass' cockpit (2 large CRT screens), MIL-STD 1553B databus; Litton LN-93 inertial navigation system, Ferranti4510 wide-angle HUD, the Vinten airborne video recording system, the General Instruments ALR-66 radar warning receiver, and a Tracor ALR-39 chaff/flare dispenser. Parts of the wings were reskinned and some structural elements rebuilt, and the aircraft wiring replaced. Because of advances in miniaturization, it was possible to incorporate these additional electronics items entirely within the fuselage without requiring the use of the dorsal hump. The Kahu-modified Skyhawk could be recognized by a bladelike ILS aerial on the leading edge of the vertical fin.
The aircraft also received armament upgrades including the capability to fire AIM-9L Sidewinders,
AGM-65 Mavericks and GBU-16 laser guided bombs.
The cost of the project was NZ$140 million and gave the RNZAF Skyhawk's the electronic “eyes and ears” of a modern fighter aircraft such as the F-16/F-18.
* [http://www.gibstuff.net/a4_alley/a4s_ops.html Kiwi Skyhawk Operations and Squadrons]
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