Raytheon Will Develop the F-35 Next-Generation DAS

FORT WORTH (Texas, the United States), June 14, 2018, Author: Bm team, Photo: Lockheed Martin

Raytheon received a contract from Lockheed Martin for developing the next-generation distributed aperture system (DAS) of the F-35 Lightning II, reported FlightGlobal.

The contract was announced by Lockheed Martin yesterday, on 13th June, but its value is not revealed yet. Lockheed considers that the new DAS will lead to more than $3 billion in lifecycle cost savings and that it will be more reliable and have better performance than the previous version.

The distributed aperture system of the F-35 operates through six infrared cameras (electro-optical sensors) installed around the aircraft, projecting augmented-reality images into a Vision Systems International’s helmet-mounted display (HMD). Threats like incoming missiles and aircrafts are automatically identified and tracked by the system. Thus the pilot is aware of the surrounding situation – day or night.

The integration of the Raytheon’s DAS will start with the Lot 15 F-35 aircraft and deliveries are expected to begin in 2023. The previous DAS version was manufactured by Northrop Grumman, which decided not to bid for the next generation option. As a principal member of the F-35 industry team led by Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman executes a big part of the work related to the development and manufacturing of the F-35, which has included the production of the DAS as well.