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Decision on recovery of Navy Super Hornet from sea could hinge on presence of upgrades

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NAPLES, Italy — The decision to recover a Navy Super Hornet swept off an aircraft carrier into the Mediterranean Sea likely hinges on whether the plane carried technology that could be exploited by China or Russia, experts say.

The F/A-18 jet, introduced in 1999, is slowly being phased out of service. But newer, or Block III, versions have an infrared search-and-track system useful in pinpointing stealth aircraft. They also have better radar equipment and a precision approach landing system, experts say.

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