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Home > EW and Cyber > Advancing F-35 Lightning II Electronic Warfare Capabilities

Advancing F-35 Lightning II Electronic Warfare Capabilities

The 354th Fighter Wing and the Air National Guard's 168th Wing aircraft line up in formation at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, 18 December 2020 [USAF: SrA Keith Holcomb - via BAE Systems]

BAE Systems has received a $493M contract to significantly upgrade and modernise the EW system for the F-35 Lightning II fighter.

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Press Release, 15 December 2021: BAE Systems received a $493 million contract modification from Lockheed Martin to significantly upgrade and modernise the electronic warfare (EW) system for the F-35 Lightning II, enabling the fifth-generation fighter to quickly detect and address evolving electromagnetic threats in contested battlespaces.

Under the contract, BAE Systems will deliver enhanced and highly capable core hardware for the F-35’s high-performance EW mission system, known as AN/ASQ-239, and will provide engineering support services and test infrastructure. The upgraded system will improve superior situational awareness and electromagnetic attack and countermeasure capabilities with new sensors and more powerful signal processing.

“The capabilities we will deliver in this contract are foundational and will be leveraged to other platforms to ensure all warfighters have the most advanced EW capability at the ready,” said Lisa Aucoin, vice president of F-35 Solutions at BAE Systems. “The highly adaptable mission system will allow our warfighters to outpace evolving threats and defend democracy around the globe.”

The enhanced electronic warfare system’s robust design will enable rapid future upgrades, aligning with the U.S. Department of Defense’s strategy for continuous capability development. The system’s modular architecture will also allow for efficient hardware upgrades that reduce lifecycle and retrofit costs, and support faster software updates across the global F-35 fleet. The system also includes the Non-Intrusive Electronic Warfare Test Solution (NIEWTS) fault isolation and diagnostics capability, which enables precise troubleshooting that further reduces maintenance costs.

BAE Systems is a leader in integrated, full-spectrum, multi-domain EW systems for defence and attack applications across domains. Under the company’s Extreme EW 2.0 (EWX) strategy, its world-class agile engineering, next-generation manufacturing, and re-imagined sustainment solutions are creating the market’s fastest pathway from the lab to the field, and delivering systems that will keep warfighters safe from the threats of the future.

BAE Systems is a major global partner to Lockheed Martin on the F-35 programme. In addition to delivering world-class EW systems, the company also manufactures the aft fuselage, active inceptor control system, and vehicle management computer for each F-35 at state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in the U.K., Australia, and U.S. The company also provides sustainability, technical support, and training services to keep the F-35s mission-ready.

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