Fighter Jet News

F-35 Lightning II News

BAE systems delivers initial F-35 JSF Electronic Warfare System

May 31, 2006 (by Jeff Hollenbeck) - BAE Systems has delivered the first electronic warfare system for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Fort Worth, Texas.

The first F-35A Joint Strike Fighter rolls out of Lockheed's Ft. Worth, TX assembly plant. [LMTAS photo]

The EW suite, provided by BAE Systems in Nashua, N.H., and delivered April 28, will serve as one of the key sensor systems for F-35 pilots, enhancing their situational awareness and self-protection through next generation threat identification, monitoring, analysis and countermeasures.

The two major assemblies that were delivered make up the heart of the fighter's EW system, and will be used by Lockheed Martin in integration tests at its Fort Worth facility. "The entire system including apertures weighs less than 190 pounds, making it one of the lightest, most capable digital receiver-based systems in the world," said Dan Gobel, vice president of BAE Systems' Joint Strike Fighter EW program.

Gobel said integrating the EW hardware and software involved more than 10,000 discrete steps and noted, "Every major milestone has been met and the system tested extremely well, both in the lab and in flight test."

The first 20 flight-ready versions of the JSF EW system are currently in the build-up and test cycles at BAE Systems. The first of these systems are scheduled to be delivered to Lockheed Martin in early 2007.

The delivered system, composed of electronic support measures and countermeasures hardware, is one of four already built by BAE Systems. Future blocks of software will follow in a "spiral development" fashion, providing increased capability as the Joint Strike Fighter progresses toward initial operational capability.

BAE Systems is responsible for the F-35's electronic warfare systems suite and also is providing advanced affordable low-observable apertures and advanced countermeasure systems. BAE Systems facilities in the United States and United Kingdom are responsible for key areas of the airframe, vehicle and weapons systems, including the fuel system, crew escape, and life support system. The aft fuselage and empennage (tails and fins) for each F-35 are being designed, engineered and built at BAE Systems' Samlesbury, U.K. site.