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September 23, 2015

Northrop contracts Norway’s Kitron to support F-35 aircraft avionics

Northrop Grumman has signed a long-term agreement with Norway’s Kitron to deliver subassembly electronic modules for F-35 Lightning II aircraft avionics.

By Samseer M

F-35

Northrop Grumman has signed a long-term agreement with Norway’s Kitron to deliver subassembly electronic modules for F-35 Lightning II aircraft avionics.

According to the company, the latest agreement is effective through June 2036 and also includes rights for future extensions.

Northrop’s communication, navigation and identification (CNI) avionics for the F-35 offers pilots with the capability of more than 27 avionics functions including voice and data communication.

Northrop Grumman Europe chief executive Andrew Tyler said: "The CNI system is critically important to the F-35 and provides the aircraft with its ability to be integrated into the wider battlespace.

"This agreement will further strengthen the deep partnership with Norway that we have built up over the years and which dates back to 1940."

Using advanced software-defined radio technology, the system offers simultaneous operation of multiple critical functions.

It also features reduced size, weight and power demands on the aircraft.

In March, Northrop awarded Kitron a four-year, $2m contract to develop a test programme set (TPS) for evaluating and troubleshooting F-35 avionics.

Under this contract, Kitron is responsible for manufacturing TPS equipment, which consists of complex interface test assemblies that work with Lockheed Martin-built LM-STAR test system.

In another development, Norway’s Nammo has developed a new type of ammunition, called Armor Piercing Ammunition Explosive (APEX), to be used on the F-35.

"This agreement will further strengthen the deep partnership with Norway that we have built up over the years and which dates back to 1940."

The new system can be used for all types of missions, and against air, navy and ground targets.

Norway recently rolled out its first F-35A Lightning II for the Norwegian Armed Forces.

The latest F-35 is destined for Luke Air Force Base in US and will now take part in the training of Norwegian and partner pilots.

The country is planning to acquire up to 52 F-35As by 2025.


Image: Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Photo: courtesy of Lockheed Martin Corporation.

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