Lockheed Martin continues to select BAE Systems for a five-year contract to sustain the digital electronic warfare (EW) suite for the US Air Force’s (USAF) most agile fighter aircraft, the F-22 Raptor.

Under the contract, BAE Systems will continue to manage the platform’s AN/ALR 94 EW suite, as well as repairs and upgrades; supplier logistics; test equipment maintenance and provide depot-level spares and engineering support to maintain F-22 EW readiness and relevancy.

The total cost of the sustainment contract has not been specified by BAE Systems or Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed Martin’s own five-year contract worth $7bn to maintain the fleet, which the US Department of Defense awarded the aircraft manufacturer in December 2019, will be up for renewal at the end of 2024.

As the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of the AN/ALR 94 system, BAE Systems has supported the life cycle management of the EW suite for the USAF’s 183 F-22 units since the programme’s inception.

Recent investments in a new F-22 repair facility in Merrimack, New Hampshire will give the company further capacity to enhance the AN/ALR 94 system further, in terms of agility and cost-saving sustainment.

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In addition to the Raptor, the OEM’s EW systems protect 80% of US military fixed-wing aircraft and 95% of US military helicopters. 

BAE System’s unified EW suite

AN/ALR 94 is a self-protection EW system that detects and responds to surface and airborne threats, combining robust situational awareness and precision targeting among other countermeasures.

The system geolocates potential threats by detecting adversary radars at significant ranges, allowing the F-22 Raptor to limit its own radar emissions, enabling it to better conceal its location when operating in hostile territory.

Data collected by the AN/ALR-94 system helps identify, monitor, analyse and rapidly respond to threats by providing the pilot with maximum situational awareness.

Advanced avionics and sensors provide a complete view of the battlespace, enabling pilot to take appropriate action and ensure mission success. BAE Systems’ head-up display (HUD) shows target status, weapon status, weapon envelopes and shoot cues on the F-22 aircraft. A video camera records data on the HUD for post-mission analysis.

The EW system includes a radar warning receiver and a BAE Systems information & electronic warfare systems (IEWS) (formerly Lockheed Martin Sanders) missile launch detector.