F-35 stealth fighters will receive a next generation EW system

WASHINGTON – Thanks to new sensors and more powerful signal processing, F-35 fighter systems will be able to effectively combat modern threats, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing BAE Systems statement. The company is upgrading the electronic warfare system for the F-35 [Block 4] under a $ 493 million contract from Lockheed Martin.

Production of the new system will begin with Lot 17 in 2024. “This contract provides funding for the development and improvement of the basic REB Block 4 hardware for the F-35,” said Lisa Aucoin, BAE Systems Vice President of F-35 Solutions. It is noted that the update should provide the fighter with “excellent opportunities to anticipate emerging and evolving threats.”

It is noted that the upgrade of the EW should be “a central part of the improvements to the F-35 Block 4, made possible by the new processors installed under Tech Refresh 3”.

Under the contract, the aircraft will receive more powerful basic equipment for the EW AN / ASQ-239 system. The update should “improve situational awareness, the possibility of electromagnetic attacks and countermeasures through new sensors and more powerful signal processing”.

The capabilities of the upgraded AN / ASQ-239 will be used on other platforms to ensure that all fighter jets are ready for state-of-the-art EW capabilities, according to BAE Systems. This should allow friendly forces to “prevent emerging threats”.

Next generation electronic warfare system

AN/ASQ-239 provides all-aspect, broadband protection to help the F-35 reach well-defended targets and suppress enemy radars. This system stands alone today in its ability to operate in signal-dense environments, providing the aircraft with radio frequency and infrared countermeasures, and rapid response capabilities like no other aircraft. Its platform level design provides improved reliability and maintainability, optimizing long-term lifecycle costs.

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. BAE’s 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.


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