BAE Systems has received a Block 4 Modernization contract award from Lockheed Martin to enhance the offensive and defensive electronic warfare (EW) capabilities of the F-35 Lightning II fifth-generation fighter aircraft. Under the contract, BAE Systems will modernize its AN/ASQ-239 Electronic Warfare/Countermeasures (EW/CM) system to address emerging threats and maintain U.S. and allied warfighters’ ability 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,” said Deborah Norton, VP of F-35 Solutions at BAE Systems. “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.”
BAE Systems has been the EW supplier for the F-35 program for the past 14 years, successfully designing and developing the Block 1, Block 2, and Block 3 configurations, and delivering production units for each of the Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Lots 1-11. The Block 4 program 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 called Continuous Capability Development and Delivery (C2D2). The C2D2 construct is one in which capabilities are continuously being developed and fielded in 6-12 month intervals, providing warfighters with incremental enhancements to keep pace with the 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 program ramps to full-rate production. As part of its rigorous development process, the company invested in process automation, facility optimization, quality assurance, human capital, and supply chain excellence to deliver capabilities to the warfighter with speed and agility.
As a leading EW provider, BAE Systems has a deep understanding of the evolving threat environment and warfighter needs, and has more than 60 years of experience designing, qualifying, delivering, and sustaining highly reliable and maintainable systems.
The AN/ASQ-239 electronic warfare suite is an advanced, fully integrated, cost-effective system providing the F-35 platform with 360º situational awareness and end-to-end capabilities – now and into the future. AN/ASQ-239 system is a next-generation electronic warfare suite providing offensive and defensive options for the pilot and aircraft to counter current and emerging threats. Its advanced technology optimizes situational awareness while helping to identify, monitor, analyze, and respond to threats. Advanced avionics and sensors provide a real-time, 360º view of the battlespace, maximizing detection ranges and giving pilots evasion, engagement, countermeasure, and jamming options.
The AN/ASQ-239 is also built for the future, with an architecture system that allows new capabilities to be added for the F-35 fifth-generation aircraft. The Digital Channelized Receiver Techniques Generator and Tuner Insertion Program (DTIP) technology upgrades the AN/ASQ-239 system to enable new capabilities, further improving warfighters’ ability to conduct critical missions in contested airspace. This improved EW system delivers the world-class functionality of the previous system in a smaller footprint, reducing volume and power requirements and creating space for future upgrades.