The company has been tapped by Lockheed Martin to bolster the global F-35 fleet’s EW capability.
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BAE Systems has received a US$493 million ($687 million) contract modification from Lockheed Martin to upgrade and modernise the electronic warfare (EW) system for the F-35 Lightning II.
Specifically, BAE Systems has been tasked with delivering enhanced core hardware for the F-35’s high-performance EW mission system — referred to as AN/ASQ-239 — while also providing engineering support services and test infrastructure.
The upgrades are expected to enable the fifth-generation fighter to rapidly detect and address evolving electromagnetic threats in contested battlespaces by leveraging new sensors and more powerful signal processing.
This is tipped to deliver superior situational awareness, electromagnetic attack and countermeasure capabilities.
“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,” Lisa Aucoin, vice president of F-35 solutions at BAE Systems, said.
“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 design is expected to enable rapid future upgrades, supporting the US Department of Defense’s continuous capability development strategy.
The system’s modular architecture can also support hardware upgrades, reducing life cycle and retrofit costs, and supporting faster software updates across the global F-35 fleet.
The system includes the Non-Intrusive Electronic Warfare Test Solution (NIEWTS) fault isolation and diagnostics capability, designed to enable precise troubleshooting that to reduce maintenance costs.
BAE Systems’ EW support is in addition to the manufacture of the aft fuselage, active inceptor control system, and vehicle management computer for each F-35 from facilities in the UK, Australia, and the US.
The company also provides sustainability, technical support, and training services.
[Related: Finnish Air Force selects F-35A]