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F-35 CTS

Cubic has been awarded a series of contracts to manufacture and upgrade the F-35 air combat training system (ACTS).

The multimillion dollar contracts were awarded by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. The agreements require the company to produce additional F-35 version of the P5 combat training system (P5CTS) to support production aircraft.

Cubic will make two enhancements to the joint strike fighter (JSF) P5 system, in collaboration with principal subcontractor DRS. These changes will include an upgrade to make the ground subsystem compliant to Microsoft Windows 7 operating system, and an upgrade of the encryption capability.

Cubic Defense Applications president Dave Schmitz said: "Our system assures the F-35 community an integrated and comprehensive air combat manoeuvring instrumentation (ACMI) debrief for mixed-aircraft training.

"The JSF P5 system uses the same data link as the P5CTS / tactical combat training system (TCTS) used by the US Air Force, Air National Guard, US Navy, US Marine Corps, and many international partners.

"The JSF P5 data link can receive and process information from any P5CTS / TCTS external pod, including unencrypted information from fourth generation aircraft."

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By GlobalData
"Cubics’s system assures the F-35 community an integrated and comprehensive air combat manoeuvring instrumentation (ACMI) debrief for mixed-aircraft training."

The JSF P5 system incorporates an internally mounted subsystem that enables the aircraft to maintain its stealth characteristics while training.

As prime contractor, Cubic is responsible for performance in all areas of systems engineering, and for development, integration, and installation of the ground instrumentation subsystem.

Meanwhile DRS will oversee all areas related to the P5CTS airborne instrumentation subsystem.

Engineering work for the training systems is scheduled to be carried out in San Diego, California, and Fort Walton Beach, Florida, US.

The fifth-generation P5 combat trainer is jointly developed by Cubic Defense Applications and DRS Technologies.

It provides real-time training for air-to-air, air-to-ground and surface-to-air combat missions by recording mission data, and relay time, as well as space and positioning information between participating aircraft during training sorties.

Image: A USAF F-35A Lightning II aircraft in flight. Photo: courtesy of MSgt John Nimmo Sr.