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Lockheed Martin awards F-35 subcontract to Northrop Grumman

The primes are set to work collaboratively to bolster the capability of the US Air Force’s F-35 fleet.

The primes are set to work collaboratively to bolster the capability of the US Air Force’s F-35 fleet.

Northrop Grumman has been tapped to deliver new functionality to the Lockheed Martin-built F-35 Lightning II multi-role fighter fleet.


The prime is set to work alongside Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems to embed its AN/ASQ-242 integrated communications, navigation and identification (ICNI) system and BAE Systems’ AN/ASQ-239 electronic warfare/countermeasures (EW/CM) system in a bid to deliver optimal operational utility.

“This arrangement allows us to collectively provide enhanced capabilities without compromising the size, weight or power of the aircraft,” Howard Lurie, Northrop Grumman’s vice president, F-35 programs, said.

“We are proud to be a primary partner of the F-35 team, providing our US and allied warfighters superior combat effectiveness.”

Northrop Grumman's ICNI system is designed to provide F-35 pilots with more than 27 fully-integrated operational functions.

The system leverages radio technology to enable the simultaneous operation of multiple critical functions while also aiming to reduce size, weight and power demands on the F-35 fighter.


According to Northrop, these functions include identification friend or foe (IFF), automatic acquisition of fly-to points, and various voice and data communications such as the Multifunction Advanced Data Link (MADL).

Northrop is expected to commence integration of its ICN technology in 2025.

Meanwhile, the BAE Systems' AN/ASQ-239 technology is designed to provide fully integrated radar warning, targeting support, and self-protection to detect and defeat threats, while also enabling the F-35 to reach well-defended targets.

“As Lockheed Martin’s electronic warfare integrator for all F-35 aircraft, we’re committed to equipping our customers with advanced capabilities that help them conduct their missions,” Deborah Norton, BAE Systems’ vice president of F-35 Solutions at BAE Systems, said.

“Under this collaborative agreement, we will work closely with Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman to enhance the capability of our fully integrated EW system – heightening pilots’ situational awareness and helping them evade, engage and defeat modern threats.”

[Related: Northrop Grumman downselected for F-16 program]

Charbel Kadib

Charbel Kadib

News Editor – Defence and Security, Momentum Media

Prior to joining the defence and aerospace team in 2020, Charbel was news editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business, where he covered developments in the banking and financial services sector for three years. Charbel has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations, graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a double major in politics and journalism. Charbel has also completed internships with The Australian Department of Communications and the Arts and public relations agency Fifty Acres.

Lockheed Martin awards F-35 subcontract to Northrop Grumman
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