Textron Systems Electronic Systems has been awarded a contract to supply advanced, handheld radar simulators for electronic warfare (EW) preflight testing on all variants of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft.

The contract was awarded by Lockheed Martin. It requires the company to supply its Model 527 radar signal simulator, which is designed for end-of-runway and walk-around pre-flight testing, to determine the status of installed electronic warfare (EW) radar warning receiver systems.

Specifically, the system verifies operational readiness and threat recognition across antennas, transmission lines, radomes, cockpit displays, and controls on operational aircraft through free-space radiation functional testing.

Textron Systems Electronic Systems senior vice-president and general manager Steve Mensh said: "The F-35 is one of the world’s most advanced tactical aircraft, designed to deliver powerful new capabilities to the warfighter.

"The F-35 is one of the world’s most advanced tactical aircraft, designed to deliver powerful new capabilities to the warfighter."

"Our Model 527 and larger family of pre-flight testers give aircrews the confidence they need in their mission-critical systems, before they even leave the ground."

The advanced threat modelling software enables a variety of threat simulations including simple, continuous-wave, pulsed single emitters, and multiplexed radio frequency emitters that can model several threats simultaneously.

After the simulations have been developed within the system, soldiers can easily progress through them on the flight line with a thumb switch to verify aircraft operation.

The battery-powered system is fully compatible with the company’s family of pre-flight confidence testers, such as the joint service electronic combat systems tester and the advanced architecture phase, amplitude and time simulator laboratory electromagnetic environment simulator.

Deliveries under the indefinite-delivery / indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract are scheduled take place over the next three years.

The F-35 is manufactured by Lockheed. It is a fifth-generation multi-role fighter, and is designed to conduct a wide range of ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defence missions with stealth capability.