Lockheed Martin has delivered the final electro-optical targeting system (EOTS) for the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF) programme.

The delivery of the 200th EOTS marks another milestone in the F-35 programme.

Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control F-35 EOTS programme director Jerry Arlow said: "This milestone demonstrates the growing maturity of the F-35 EOTS production line and our preparedness to meet aggressive delivery schedules as the F-35 Lightning II programme approaches full-rate production."

Delivered as part of the low-rate initial production contracts, the F-35 EOTS is claimed to be the first and only sensor in the world combining forward-looking infrared and infrared search and track functionality.

The F-35 EOTS, equipped with the latest-generation infrared sensor technology, will provide high-resolution imagery, automatic target tracking, infrared search and track, laser designation and range finding, and laser spot tracking at increased stand-off ranges.

"This milestone demonstrates the growing maturity of the F-35 EOTS production line and our preparedness to meet aggressive delivery schedules."

The system will provide F-35 pilots with air-to-air and air-to-ground targeting capability and allows aircrews to identify areas of interest, perform reconnaissance and precisely deliver laser- and GPS-guided weapons while maintaining a stealthy profile..

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Currently under development in three versions, the F-35 JSF is a fifth-generation multi-role fighter aircraft
variants will replace the A-10 and F-16 for the US Air Force (USAF), the F/A-18 for the US Navy, the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the US Marine Corps.

The aircraft is expected to achieve full operational capability with the USAF by 2021 or 2022.

The Lockheed Martin team for this project includes Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems, Pratt and Whitney and Rolls-Royce.

Image: The US Navy variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). Photo: courtesy of Andy Wolfe.