Raytheon to develop distributed aperture system for F-35 jets

15 June 2018 (Last Updated June 15th, 2018 14:48)

Raytheon has been selected by Lockheed Martin for the development and delivery of next-generation Distributed Aperture System (DAS) for the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter jet.

Raytheon to develop distributed aperture system for F-35 jets
All three variants of F-35 Lightning II fighter jet. Credit: US Air Force / Staff Sgt Katerina Slivinske.

Raytheon has been selected by Lockheed Martin for the development and delivery of next-generation Distributed Aperture System (DAS) for the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter jet.

DAS collects and transmits high-resolution, real-time imagery to the pilot’s helmet from six infrared cameras installed around the aircraft.

This will enable the pilots to have a clear view of the environment around them during the day and at night.

In addition, the Raytheon-built DAS has the capability to detect and track threats from any angle, providing pilots with unprecedented situational awareness of the battlespace.

“DAS is projected to generate more than $3bn in lifecycle cost savings, reduce nearly 45% in unit recurring cost, and support reduction in operations and sustainment costs by more than 50%.”

With deliveries expected to begin in 2023, the F-35 DAS will be integrated into the fighter jets starting with Lot 15 aircraft.

Lockheed Martin F-35 programme vice-president and general manager Greg Ulmer said: “The supply chain competition for the next generation F-35 DAS resulted in significant cost savings, reliability and performance improvements.

“We are aggressively pursuing cost reduction across the F-35 enterprise and this initiative is a clear demonstration of our unrelenting commitment to reduce costs and deliver transformational capabilities for the warfighter.”

DAS is projected to generate more than $3bn in lifecycle cost savings, reduce nearly 45% in unit recurring cost, and support reduction in operations and sustainment costs by more than 50%.

The Raytheon system is expected to indirectly benefit aircraft readiness and service manpower requirements.

Built by Lockheed Martin, the F-35 Lightning II is designed to serve as the most lethal, survivable and connected fighter aircraft featuring stealth technology, advanced sensors, weapons capacity and range.