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Northrop Grumman Delivers Key F-35 Lightning II Subsystem Ahead of Schedule

File photo: The JSF F-35 Lightning II with US Air Force General Moseley.
by Staff Writers
San Diego CA (SPX) Jul 21, 2006
Northrop Grumman Corporation has successfully delivered its first F-35 Lightning II integrated communications, navigation and identification (CNI) system ahead of schedule. When fully developed, Northrop Grumman's integrated CNI system will provide more than 40 functions to the pilots of the F-35, one of two 5th Generation fighters in the world.

By utilizing software-defined radios (SDRs), Northrop Grumman's revolutionary design enables simultaneous support for dozens of critical capabilities while greatly minimizing size and weight, which are valuable commodities for an advanced fighter.

Northrop Grumman's Space Technology sector is developing the integrated CNI system for the F-35 on Northrop Grumman's Integrated Software Architecture, an enhanced Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Software Communications Architecture (SCA) core framework and integrated infrastructure, thereby creating a JTRS-compatible solution for future network-centric operations. The integrated CNI system, which was delivered to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, included the following:

-- Identification Friend or Foe Transponder - enables automatic, secure electronic verification of friendly and enemy combat units

-- Ultra High Frequency/Very High Frequency receive and transmit - lets the pilot communicate voice and data on common radio frequencies

-- Intercom Audio - allows communication between the pilot, ground crew or in-flight refueling aircrew without radio frequency transmissions

-- Radar Altimeter - gives precision measurement of the aircraft distance above the ground or surface -- Backup Radio - provides emergency voice communication capability

"This delivery, including more than a half-million lines of software, is a major milestone for both Northrop Grumman and the F-35 program," said Ken Fecteau, F-35 program director of Radio Systems, Northrop Grumman Space Technology.

"The expandable JTRS SCA infrastructure and initial functionality will serve as the foundation for the planned incremental addition of data links, communication capabilities and other connectivity over the next few years, culminating in a fully interoperable network-centric platform when the F-35 is deployed."

Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Two separate, interchangeable F-35 engines are under development: the Pratt and Whitney F135 and the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team F136.

Each power plant produces 40,000 pounds of thrust, making the F-35 the most powerful single-engine fighter ever. Four F-35 aircraft are currently in assembly, with 15 scheduled to fly during the aircraft's test program.

As a principal partner of the Lockheed Martin team, Northrop Grumman plays a critical role in the development, demonstration and production of this multi-role fighter. The company's contributions span seven of its eight sectors and range from producing and integrating a major section of the aircraft's structure to producing key avionics and communications subsystems to developing mission systems and mission-planning software and pilot and maintenance training systems, to developing logistical support hardware and software.

Related Links
Lockheed Martin

EADS Supplies The German Armed Forces With A New Type Of Ground Surveillance Radar
Ulm, Germany (SPX) Jul 21, 2006
EADS will equip the German Armed Forces with a new kind of ground surveillance radar (BUR - Bodenuberwachungsradar) for reliably detecting movements both on the ground and in the air close to the ground.

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