/300px-CF-1_flight_test.jpgAirforce -technology.com/wp-content/uploads/image-digitalinsightresearch/Archive/nri/airforce/300px-CF-1_flight_test.jpg” style=”padding: 10px” width=”300″ />

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..

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.