Today’s warfighters require revolutionary technology to provide a competitive advantage over advanced threats, which continue to evolve at a rapid pace. Airborne warfighters executing missions in contested battlespaces need electronic warfare (EW) solutions that provide electromagnetic spectrum superiority – systems they can trust to provide unimpeded maneuverability and keep them safe. Outpacing advancing threats using the electromagnetic spectrum has become a strategic imperative.
BAE Systems has been a strategic contributor to the F-35 program since 2002. It designed and delivered state-of-the-art AN/ASQ-239 EW/countermeasure suites for each F-35 Lightning II aircraft delivered to date, providing critical situational awareness and self-protection capabilities. The F-35 EW suite is fully integrated into the aircraft, and helps maintain its status as the most lethal, survivable and connected fighter aircraft ever built.
In today’s signal-dense environments, the AN/ASQ-239 system provides long-range 360-degree, full-spectrum situational awareness and rapid-response capabilities. Its offensive and defensive capabilities include threat warning, radio-frequency and infrared countermeasures, and targeting support – allowing pilots to detect, analyze, and counter threats and reach well-defended targets.
As the strategic EW contributor for the F-35, BAE Systems has a strong vision for the future of EW and a deep understanding of customer needs. The company is a leader in electronic warfare with more than 60 years of experience. Its systems have flown on more than 80 platforms and operate on 80% of U.S. military fighter aircraft. The company’s EW expertise builds on its world-class agile engineering and next-generation manufacturing skills.
The company not only delivers advanced EW systems for each F-35, it delivers them on time, and continues to evolve and modernize the system. The current version of the EW system – referred to as DTIP or Digital Channelized Receiver Techniques Generator and Tuner Insertion Program – provides the world-class functionality of the previous system in a smaller footprint, reducing volume and power requirements and creating space for future upgrades.
BAE Systems is also under contract to design and deliver Block 4 EW capabilities for future F-35 aircraft, which will significantly upgrade and modernize AN/ASQ-239. Block 4 EW will improve sensing and signal-processing capabilities and boost the ability to detect low-observable threats and more threats simultaneously. Block 4 hardware is designed to rapidly evolve using incremental software updates that will enable future upgrades, accelerating the delivery of advanced capabilities to the global F-35 fleet.
To deliver complex, intricate electronics at scale, BAE Systems invested more than $100 million in its production facilities, including three state-of-the-art microwave manufacturing factories, an expanded Advanced Composites Manufacturing facility, and a 42,000-square-foot expansion of its Electronic Warfare Integrated Manufacturing Center. The flexibility of BAE Systems’ active production line will allow it to seamlessly transition to the Block 4 design without skipping a beat.
The company also cut the cost of the AN/ASQ-239 by 79% since initial units were delivered, and reduced the EW cost per flight hour by 53%. The system’s modular design improves reliability and maintainability reducing life cycle sustainment costs.
BAE Systems also provides crucial sustainment support for AN/ASQ-239, ensuring EW mission system readiness. The company provides software maintenance, depot test equipment support, logistics analysis, obsolescence monitoring, and technical field support. Under an innovative performance-based logistics program, BAE Systems delivers better than 85% EW material availability to the F-35 enterprise using a cost-effective, outcome-based support strategy.
BAE Systems’ high-performance AN/ASQ-239 EW system is capable, reliable, affordable, and sustainable, enabling the U.S. and its allies to maintain electromagnetic spectrum superiority and execute missions today and into the future.