top of page

 

F/A-18 NAVY COMBAT EDGE EVALUATION

0.JPG

Preamble: Unfortunately, your humble “model” apart from its known short legs also has some problem with abdominal geometry... I was able to close the MA-2 but then I could not breathe anymore. Hope you like the combo picture anyway!

 

Here we go:

 

The USN COMBAT EDGE (A/P22P-16 - COMBined Advanced Technology Enhanced Design G Ensemble – “NCE”) was tested by the Swiss AF on F/A-18 in the early 2000's.

 

Its aim is to enhance the pilot's ability to withstand high G forces by reducing the associated fatigue and minimize the chance of G-LOC (G-induced Loss Of Consciousness).

 

The system provides the aircrew with an assisted oxygen pressure (up to 80 millibar/ 1.2 psi above ambient) breathing for G (PBG) for positive acceleration protection between +4 and +9 Gz to an altitude of 15'000 meters/ 50'000feet.

 

The tested system’s components were:

 

HGU-87/P22P-16 helmet / MBU-24/P22P-16 oxygen mask;

MA-2 integrated harness/ LPU-23 life preserver;

CSU-21/P22P-16 counter pressure vest/ jerkin;

CSU-103/P oxygen regulator;

CSU-20/P22P-16 enhanced cutaway anti-G lower garment. 

6.JPG

LH picture - I hope you can see everything better​.

The HGU-87/P22P-16 is a modified HGU-68/P tactical aircraft helmet upgraded with a KMU-561 helmet bladder assembly. The assembly includes an inflatable occipital bladder that connects to the oxygen mask breathing hose. The occipital bladder automatically inflates with the onset of positive G-forces to a pressure equal to the mask pressure, thereby tightening the mask to the face to prevent leakage.

DSC_1099.JPG

The MBU-24/P22P-16 Oxygen Mask is designed to provide gaseous oxygen for breathing and inflation of the occipital bladder while maintaining face seal integrity under positive pressure breathing conditions.

​​The CSU-21/P22P-16 Counter-Pressure Vest connects with the chest-mounted CRU-103/P G-Compensated Oxygen Breathing Regulator.

 

The vest's primary function is to externally balance the internal chest cavity pressure associated with Assisted Positive Pressure Breathing (APPB) and PBG. External counter pressure is necessary to reduce the risk of lung damage and to aid in exhalation.

The CRU-103/P supplies regulated oxygen at a predetermined schedule to inflate the vest under +Gz force conditions.

1.JPG
DSC_1399.JPG

​​The CRU-103/P is an automatic, positive pressure breathing type regulator that provides on-demand breathing oxygen to the aircrew via the MBU-24/P22P-16 oxygen mask.

 

The regulator incorporates a pressure-proportioning valve that receives pressure signals from the aircraft Anti-G valve outlet via a sensing line and delivers pressure to the mask, mask tensioning occipital bladder, and counter-pressure vest.

DSC_1434.JPG
DSC_1413.JPG
DSC_1435.JPG
DSC_1450.JPG

​​The CSU-20/P22P-16 is similar to the CSU-13B/P Anti-G garment, except that it provides a 40 percent increase in leg and abdomen bladder coverage to further aid in preventing blood pooling.

1_filtered.jpg
DSC_1482.JPG
2_filtered.jpg

​​The results of the tests, apart from some technical problems and the observed tendency to develop acceleration induced arm pain, were positive. Nevertheless, the non-compatibility with the ejection seat’s “Simplified Combined Harness" restraint system planned to be fitted on the F/A-18 fleet , not compatible with the NCE setup, led to the termination of the evaluation program.

bottom of page