AN/ASQ-239 to be Modernised to Meet Emerging Threats
BAE Systems has received a Block 4 modernisation contract from Lockheed Martin to enhance both offensive and defensive electronic warfare (EW) capabilities for the F-35 LIGHTNING II, the company announced on 21 August.
Under the contract, the company will modernise its AN/ASQ-239 electronic warfare countermeasures (EW/CM) system to address emerging threats and maintain the capability of US and allied forces to safely conduct missions in contested airspace.
“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 […] Our robust, modular architecture enables us to efficiently insert new capabilities, supporting the next wave of technical innovation while proactively addressing total product lifecycle sustainability,” commented BAE Systems’ Vice President of F-35 Solutions, Deborah Norton.
BAE Systems has been the EW supplier for the F-35 programme for the past 14 years, successfully designing and developing the Block 1, 2 and 3 configurations, delivering production units for each of the low-rate initial production (LRIP) Lots 1-11. The Block 4 programme is a multi-year, multi-contract design and development effort that will add eleven new capabilities to the EW system. These improvements will be made as part of the new F-35 agile contracting and development paradigm, known as Continuous Capability Development and Delivery (C2D2), in which capabilities are continuously being developed and fielded at 6-12 month intervals, providing operators with incremental enhancements to keep pace with evolving threats.
BAE Systems has delivered more than 500 F-35 AN/ASQ-239 EW/CM shipsets to date, and is currently matching aircraft production with continual on-time delivery as the programme ramps up to full-rate production. As part of its rigorous development process, the company has invested in process automation, facility optimisation, quality assurance, human capital and supply chain excellence, to deliver capabilities to the user with speed and agility.