Fighter Jet News

F-35 Lightning II News

Northrop Grumman delivers first fire-control radar for the F-35

March 16, 2005 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Northrop Grumman has delivered the first fire-control radar for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to prime contractor Lockheed Martin. The AN/APG-81 radar, which incorporates an active electronically scanned array, will be used to conduct radome integration testing at Lockheed Martin's Palmdale facility.
The unmatched multi-mode capability of the radar will support air-to-air, air-to-surface and electronic warfare missions. It will provide the pilot with precision all-weather targeting and advanced air-to-ground automatic target cueing.

"This first hardware delivery marks a substantial milestone in the process of integrating the radar into the F-35 avionics," said John C. Johnson, vice president of Combat Avionics Systems at Northrop Grumman. "We'll start flight-testing the radar later this year in Baltimore on our testbed aircraft, which will further boost the momentum of this nationwide integration effort."

Johnson added that software development for the radar continues on schedule, with nearly a year of integration work completed. Engineers will test the software modes during the upcoming flight-test program.

In joint efforts with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman is also developing the F-35's electro-optical Distributed Aperture System ( DAS ) and Electro-optical Targeting System ( EOTS ). The DAS surrounds the aircraft with a protective sphere of situational awareness, warning the pilot of incoming aircraft and missile threats as well as providing day/night vision and additional fire-control capability. The internally mounted EOTS provides longer-range detection and precision targeting of ground and airborne threats.