Lockheed Martin has conducted the first flight of the F-35 Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS) on the Cooperative Avionics Test Bed (CATBird) platform.

The EOTS flight on the CATBird is the final step before integration on the BF-4, the first mission systems-equipped F-35 test aircraft.

The CATBird includes an actual F-35 cockpit and test stations to perform real-time analysis as mission systems are evaluated.

It provides the capability to fuse sensor information, which will offer pilots higher quality and shared sensor information compared with legacy platforms’ federated sensor architectures.

During the current Block 1.0 software system test, the EOTS operated in an integrated mode and collected aircraft navigation data for sensor alignment.

The F-35 EOTS will provide high-resolution imagery, automatic target tracking, infrared search and track, laser designation and range finding with laser spot tracking.