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Northrop Grumman Delivers Key Software For First F-35 STOVL Variant

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by Staff Writers
El Segundo CA (SPX) Aug 15, 2007
Northrop Grumman has delivered to F-35 Lightning II prime contractor Lockheed Martin the initial release of software required to perform manufacturing checkout of the first F-35B short take-off vertical landing (STOVL) variant. The company has delivered updates for software modules used to perform three critical functions: functional test of key sensor subsystems such as radar, electronic warfare, and communication/navigation/IFF; download of maintenance information from the aircraft; and in-flight detection and pilot notification of safety-critical faults.

"The delivery of this initial manufacturing release (IMR) of software for the first F-35 STOVL aircraft continues Northrop Grumman's unbroken, two-year-long streak of on-time software deliveries to the F-35 Lighting II program," said Janis Pamiljans, F-35 program manager for Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector.

"We're doing everything we can to support the F-35 industry team's goal of flying the first STOVL variant in the spring of 2008."

The software delivered to Lockheed Martin includes:

- Prognostic and Health Monitoring software, which is used to check out the built-in-test features of the sensor hardware and verify that the hardware is operating properly;

- Maintenance Interface Broker software, which is used by maintenance personnel to download diagnostic information from the aircraft; and

- Mission Domain software, which includes navigation related software; software models for aircraft performance; and the Mission Systems Integrity Monitor, safety-critical software that detects, filters and notifies the pilot of critical in-flight failures.

The initial manufacturing release of software is the second in a five-step F-35 software release process leading to first flight. Between now and spring 2008, Northrop Grumman plans to deliver three more rounds of software updates for the STOVL software modules listed above.

+ Ground test release, which will be used during initial power-up and taxi tests of the F-35B;

+ Flight candidate release, which provides the core of software used during initial flight; and

+ Flight test update, which provides any updates or additional software capabilities required for flight testing.

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