The US Air Force’s (USAF) F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter sensor capabilities were tested during the multioperational biennial US Pacific Command exercise, Northern Edge 2011, held at Alaska, US.

During the exercise, the JSF’s AN/APG-81 Active Electronically Scanned Array Radar (AESA) and AN/AAQ-37 Distributed Aperture System (DAS) were mounted aboard Northrop Grumman’s BAC 1-11 test aircraft.

The DAS demonstrated spherical situational awareness and target tracking capabilities, while the AESA demonstrated robust electronic protection, electronic attack, passive maritime and experimental modes, and data-linked air and surface tracking.

Northrop Grumman’s test director Peter Bartos said, “The testing at Northern Edge 2011 provided the opportunity to confirm the maturity and operational utility of key capabilities, and to identify any areas that might need refinement before entering formal operational testing on the F-35 JSF airframe.”

Northern Edge is an exercise to prepare US joint forces to be mission ready to effectively respond to crises throughout the Asia-Pacific region.