September 25, 2007 (by Lieven Dewitte) - BAE Systems has completed acceptance testing for the F-35 Lightning II electronic warfare (EW) suite spiral release 2.
The system met all contractual requirements during formal evaluation by Lockheed Martin program officials. The final electronic warfare suite will detect, analyze, evaluate, and react to EW threats fielded by potential adversaries. This spiral release provides the capabilities to perform initial manufacturing system checkouts on F-35 BF-4, the first full avionics aircraft, scheduled to fly in the first quarter of 2009.
"Delivery of the first flight-representative electronic warfare system for F-35 maintains our track record of being on time, on cost, and under weight after 66 months of F-35 system design and development," said Dan Gobel, Joint Strike Fighter electronic warfare vice president for BAE
BAE Systems completed hardware and software testing on the initial flight-representative hardware for the electronic warfare system that included designing, building, and testing the electronic support measures and countermeasures hardware and more than 120,000 lines of software code. The delivery provides several critical capabilities that comprise the foundation for two additional planned software releases to be introduced during the flight test program.
The five-year project included an upgrade kit for the program's electronic support measures test bench. The test bench examines, correlates, and accounts for signals that bounce off an aircraft's reflective surfaces. The project also included an update of the interface units for the F-35 radio frequency test system. The test system reflects how the system would operate under real-world conditions.
The system was delivered to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics' Mission Systems Integration Laboratory in Fort Worth, Texas. It will be used for integration and then released to the production floor and installed in an F-35 aircraft.