Lockheed Martin has announced that it is continuing the development of its Advanced Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS) for the F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft.

The EOTS is intended to offer improved resolution, multi-spectral range.

The advanced tracking system provides greater reliability and reduced costs every operating hour.

According to Lockheed Martin, the system will help saving over $1bn in life cycle cost for the fighter aircraft customers.

The Advanced EOTS will provide a range of multi-spectral sensing options, including high-resolution mid-wave infrared (IR), short-wave IR and near IR. It also comes with a larger aperture.

The system enables easy integration into the F-35 Lightning II with the ‘plug and play’ feature.

Lockheed Martin missiles and fire control sensors and global sustainment vice-president Michael Williamson said: “We understand the importance of providing pilots with the most advanced technologies available today.”

The company will enable customers to choose if they want to have the Advanced EOTS on the F-35 fighter as part of follow-on modernisation.

If the customers opt for the system, Lockheed Martin will integrate it into the fifth-generation aircraft.

In a statement, Lockheed Martin said: “Advanced EOTS was funded through internal investment and was vetted through operational analysis against the most demanding F-35 missions.

“It provides enhanced performance for both air-to-air and air-to-ground day and night missions.”

The company added that the system will offer improved capabilities, performance and reliability.

Advanced EOTS is available for the F-35 aircraft’s Block 4 development and is designed to replace the low-drag, stealthy EOTS.

Upgrades in the new system include short-wave IR, an IR marker, high-definition television and improved image detector resolution.

The company has incorporated these enhancements to increase the detection ranges of F-35 pilots.