New technology has been incorporated into the AN/ASQ-239 electronic warfare (EW) system for the global fleet of Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft.
Carried out by BAE Systems, the AN/ASQ-239 radar system upgrades will enable the aircraft to meet future capability requirements and enhance the ability of operators to perform critical missions in contested airspace.
As part of the upgrade, the company has reduced the footprint of the EW system with decreased volume and power requirements while creating space for Block IV modernisation upgrades.
The system update is known as the Digital Channelized Receiver / Techniques Generator and Tuner Insertion Program (DTIP) technology. It will help minimise the cost incurred on redesign work to address issues associated with manufacturing obsolescence.
BAE Systems F-35 Solutions vice-president Deborah Norton said: “We’ve delivered almost 400 EW systems to date, and now we’ve updated the architecture and are manufacturing it at a high rate of production.
“This technology insertion gives the EW system room to grow and will help the F-35 maintain its dominance of the electromagnetic spectrum.
“The successful insertion of DTIP was the result of the outstanding focus, dedication, and teamwork of our engineering and production teams working in close coordination with our customer.”
The upgrade makes BAE Systems the first F-35 supplier to insert updated technology into its systems at full production speeds. The company is delivering 11 systems per month and intends to increase output to match aircraft production.
BAE Systems invested $100m in manufacturing space, process automation, and the growth of its EW workforce as part of its capacity expansion strategy.
The F-35 EW system digital electronic warfare / countermeasures suite is designed to deliver real-time battlespace situational awareness and rapid response capabilities.
The ASQ-239 system has the ability to provide fully integrated radar warning, targeting support, and self-protection capabilities that will enable pilots to engage, counter, jam, or evade threats to improve survivability and mission effectiveness.