The US Navy has taken ownership of 23 Joint Precision Approach and Landing Systems low-rate production units from Raytheon Technologies.
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The software-based GPS navigation and precision approach landing system guides aircraft onto carriers or amphibious assault ships regardless of sea or weather conditions.
The system is integrated on to F-35 fighter jets and was recently sold to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). It is also deployed internationally on the UK Royal Navy HMS Queen Elizabeth and the ITS Cavour Italian aircraft carrier.
Naval Air Systems Command, Naval Air Traffic Management Systems program manager Captain Kevin Watkins said Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (JPALS) is deployed on all US Navy aircraft carriers, amphibious assault ships, and F-35 aircraft.
“This is a significant milestone for the JPALS team and highlights the incredible efforts of hundreds of our teammates over the past decade who developed and now have fully delivered these critical systems that our warfighters and international partners need,” he said.
“This team overcame many barriers over the past several years, successfully achieving the required outcome to deliver all of the capabilities needed, on time and affordably.”
Raytheon is also developing a smaller, portable expeditionary variant of JPALS called eJPALS, which can be packaged in ruggedised cases, mounted on small vehicles, and deployed in austere, remote locations for precision landings. The system could establish up to 50 different landing points within a 20-nautical-mile radius.
Raytheon Technologies JPALS program manager Mark Maselli said JPALS is expected to be deployed on the JMSDF’s JS Izumo in 2024.
“Since [the] contract award in 2019, our team has worked closely with Naval Air Systems Command to outfit the fleet’s carriers and ships with JPALS to ensure pilots can land safely and successfully anywhere in the world,” he said.
“Their mission became our mission, and our team committed to ensure every single system was delivered to the customer on time or ahead of schedule.”