Northrop Grumman Corporation has delivered its 100th AN/ASQ-242 communications, navigation and identification (CNI) system to Lockheed Martin Corp. for integration into the F-35 Lightning II.
“The CNI system is a critical part of the F-35 mission systems suite, and we’re proud of the excellent performance of the AN/ASQ-242 in flight tests and ongoing pilot and maintainer training activities,” said Mike Twyman, vice president and general manager of the Defense Systems division of Northrop Grumman Information Systems. “This milestone underscores our commitment to advanced design, quality manufacturing, affordability and supportability.
“By incorporating lessons learned from previous programs and early F-35 low-rate production lots, we’re delivering highly robust and reliable CNI systems that demonstrate extensive fifth-generation fighter capabilities. The Northrop Grumman team is focused on continuous improvement, lot to lot, for schedule, quality and cost as we prepare for high-rate F-35 production,” said Twyman.
Northrop Grumman’s integrated CNI system provides F-35 pilots with the capability of more than 27 avionics functions. By using its industry-leading software-defined radio technology, Northrop Grumman’s design allows the simultaneous operation of multiple critical functions while greatly reducing size, weight and power demands on the advanced fighter. These capabilities include Identification Friend or Foe, precision navigation, and various voice and data communications, including the Multifunction Advanced Data Link, which was approved by the U.S. Department of Defense Joint Requirements Oversight Council for use on all low-observable platforms.
As a principal member of the Lockheed Martin-led F-35 industry team, Northrop Grumman performs a significant share of the work required to develop and produce the aircraft. In addition to developing and producing the AN/ASQ-242 CNI system, Northrop Grumman produces the center fuselage; designed and produces the aircraft’s radar and electro-optical subsystem; develops mission systems and mission planning software; leads the team’s development of pilot and maintenance training system courseware; and manages the team’s use, support and maintenance of low-observable technologies.
The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th Generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems, headquartered in the U.K. The U.S. Marine Corps plans to declare Initial Operational Capability with the STOVL in 2015.
Press Release, July 30, 2013; Image: Northrop Grumman