Radar for F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Achieves Program Milestone
May 24, 2005, 09:39
BALTIMORE: Northrop Grumman Corporation's fire control radar for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has passed a key milestone in system integration testing by detecting airborne targets at the company's integration laboratory.
Designated the AN/APG-81, the radar incorporates an active electronically scanned array (AESA). Its unmatched multi-mode capability will support air-to-air, air-to-surface and electronic warfare missions. The radar will also provide the pilot with precision all-weather targeting and advanced air-to-ground target cueing.
"This achievement represents another critical advance in the radar's development," said John C. Johnson, vice president of Combat Avionics Systems at Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector. "I'm proud of our engineering team and their tireless efforts, which will enable us to start flight-testing the radar on our testbed aircraft this summer, slightly ahead of the program schedule."
Mr. Johnson added that nearly a year of integration work has been completed on the building-block radar mode known as All-Aspect Search, the basic tool pilots will use to search for airborne targets.
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is a supersonic, multi-role stealth fighter designed to replace a wide range of aging fighter and strike aircraft, including the AV-8B Harrier, A-10, F-16, and the United Kingdom's Harrier GR.7 and Sea Harrier. It will also replace the F/A-18C/D Hornet and complement the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. Three variants derived from a common design will ensure that the F-35 meets the performance needs of the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Marine Corps as well as allied defense forces worldwide, while also meeting strict affordability requirements.
As a principal member of the Lockheed Martin team, Northrop Grumman plays a critical role in the development and demonstration of the F-35. The company's contributions total more than 25 percent of the aircraft and span five of its seven sectors.
In addition to the radar, Electronic Systems is developing the electro-optical distributed aperture system and the electro-optical targeting system, both in joint efforts with Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. The Integrated Systems sector is responsible for design and integration of the center fuselage, weapons bay, and related subsystems; the Mission Systems sector provides system and software engineering support for the mission planning system; the Space Technology sector is developing the integrated communications, navigation and identification avionics suite; and the Information Technology sector, in joint efforts with Lockheed Martin Simulation, Training and Support, provides training management software.
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