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.
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.
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“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.