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February 4, 2022

BAE Systems achieves milestones with F-35 flight-critical systems delivery

The VMC and AIS enhance mission effectiveness and lower pilot workload.

Lockheed Martin has received BAE Systems’ 3,000th vehicle management computer (VMC) and 1,000th active inceptor system (AIS) for the F-35 Lightning II aircraft.

The deliveries mark two F-35 production milestones for BAE Systems.

As flight-critical systems, VMC and AIS allow an F-35 jet to fly ‘safely and reliably’ in challenging settings. The systems also improve mission effectiveness and reduce pilot workload.

To support the F-35’s digital fly-by-wire flight control system and utility systems, the VMC unit offers advanced hardware and computing.

This helps in leveraging the system integration for enhancing mission efficiency and security.

BAE Systems controls and avionics solutions vice-president and general manager Ehtisham Siddiqui said: “At BAE Systems, we are dedicated to supporting our warfighters with the most advanced systems and technologies.

“These two milestones underscore our partnership with Lockheed Martin to consistently deliver proven flight-critical and mission-critical systems on time for the F-35 aircraft.”

Work on the VMC and AIS takes place at BAE Systems’ centres in Endicott, New York; and Rochester, UK, respectively.

BAE Systems has attained full-rate production (FRP), expanding its monthly deliveries from ten shipsets to 25 shipsets a month.

Additionally, the firm has attained FRP for its active inceptors at a level of 19 shipsets a month.

The AIS comprises the inceptor control unit, active side-stick controller, and active quadrant throttle assembly.

Last month, BAE Systems Australia secured a deal to support the Royal Australian Air Force’s F-35A operations.

Separately, the US Air Force’s 354th Fighter Wing took the delivery of its 49th F-35A Lightning II aircraft at Eielson, Alaska.

354th Fighter Wing is expected to receive a total of 54 F-35s by mid-2022.

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