This was the first-time live F-35 track data has been sent to IBCS via the F-35 ground station and F-35-IBCS adaptation kit, both developed by Lockheed Martin.
This allowed IBCS to receive and develop fire control quality composite tracks during the exercise, leveraging the F-35 as an elevated sensor. This capability enables multi-domain operations and the detection of threats that could challenge ground-based sensors.
Scott Arnold, vice president and deputy of integrated air and missile defense at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, explained, "This demonstration represents a significant growth in capability for the Army IAMD program and Army for multi-domain operations. The capability creates additional battlespace awareness, and the ability to track incoming targets and take action, if necessary."
This capability further demonstrates the Army IAMD program’s ability to gather sensor data from multiple platforms and is another building block for the future Army IAMD force.
“The F-35, with its advanced sensors and connectivity, is able to gather and seamlessly share critical information enabling greater joint force protection and a higher level of lethality of Army IAMD forces," Arnold said.
In 2016, the F-35 and Aegis Combat System successfully demonstrated the integration of the F-35 in support of the Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air capability.
The F-35 ground station has been relocated to White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, to support follow on F-35 integration testing during IAMD developmental testing.
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is billed as a catalyst for the fifth-generation revolution, changing the face and capability of the Royal Australian Air Force and the wider Australian Defence Force.
For the RAAF, the F-35A's combination of full-spectrum low-observable stealth coatings and materials, advanced radar-dispersing shaping, network-centric sensor and communications suites – combined with a lethal strike capability – means the aircraft will be the ultimate force multiplying, air-combat platform.
Over the coming years, Australia will purchase 72 of the advanced fifth-generation fighter aircraft as part of the $17 billion AIR 6000 Phase 2A/B program – which is aimed at replacing the ageing F/A-18A/B Classic Hornets that have been in service with the RAAF since 1985.