BAE Systems has announced it has received a Block 4 Modernisation contract award from Lockheed Martin to enhance the offensive and defensive electronic warfare capabilities of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft.
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As per the contract, BAE Systems will modernise its AN/ASQ-239 Electronic Warfare/Countermeasures (EW/CM) system to "address emerging threats and maintain the US and allied warfighters' ability to safely conduct missions in contested airspace".
The Block 4 Modernisation deal is a multi-year, multi-contract design and development effort that will add 11 new capabilities to the EW system.
These improvements will be delivered as part of the F-35 agile contracting and development paradigm called Continuous Capability Development and Delivery (C2D2).
The C2D2 construct is one with capabilities that are continuously developed and fielded in six-12 month intervals, which provides warfighters with incremental enhancements to keep pace with the evolving threats.
"The F-35 will be in service for decades, and we're committed to providing our pilots with an AN/ASQ-239 capability that affords a decisive and sustained EW operational advantage," said Deborah Norton, VP of F-35 solutions at BAE Systems.
"Our robust, modular architecture enables us to efficiently insert new capabilities, supporting the next wave of technical innovation while proactively addressing total product life cycle sustainability."
For the past 14 years, BAE Systems has been the EW supplier for the F-35 program, successfully designing and developing the Block 1, 2 and 3 configurations, as well as delivering production units for each of the Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Lots 1-11.
To date, BAE Systems has delivered more than 500 F-35 AN/ASQ-239 EW/CM shipsets, and is currently matching aircraft production with on-time delivery as the program proceeds to full-rate production.
As part of the development process, the company has invested in process automation, facility optimisation, quality assurance, human capital and supply chain excellence to deliver capabilities to the warfighter with speed and agility.