According to a press release by BAE Systems the company received a $493 million contract modification from Lockheed Martin to significantly upgrade and modernize the electronic warfare (EW) system for the F-35 Lightning II, enabling the fifth-generation fighter to quickly detect and address evolving electromagnetic threats in contested battlespaces.
Under the contract, BAE Systems will deliver enhanced and highly capable core hardware for the F-35’s high-performance EW mission system, known as AN/ASQ-239, and will provide engineering support services and test infrastructure. The upgraded system will improve superior situational awareness and electromagnetic attack and countermeasure capabilities with new sensors and more powerful signal processing.
“The capabilities we will deliver in this contract are foundational and will be leveraged to other platforms to ensure all warfighters have the most advanced EW capability at the ready,” said Lisa Aucoin, vice president of F-35 Solutions at BAE Systems. “The highly adaptable mission system will allow our warfighters to outpace evolving threats and defend democracy around the globe.”
It is also stated in the announcement that the enhanced electronic warfare system’s robust design will enable rapid future upgrades, aligning with the U.S. Department of Defense’s strategy for continuous capability development. The system’s modular architecture will also allow for efficient hardware upgrades that reduce lifecycle and retrofit costs, and support faster software updates across the global F-35 fleet. The system also includes the Non-Intrusive Electronic Warfare Test Solution (NIEWTS) fault isolation and diagnostics capability, which enables precise troubleshooting that further reduces maintenance costs.