F-35's Radar Conducts First Flight on BAC-1-11

Released on Thursday, September 8, 2005
United States of America
F-35A Lightning II
F-35B Lightning II
F-35C Lightning II
JSF - Joint Strike Fighter
Northrop Grumman Corporation has begun initial flight testing of the advanced fire-control radar being developed for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft. The radar is designed to enable F-35 pilots to effectively engage air and ground targets at long range, while also providing outstanding situational awareness for enhanced survivability.

Designated the AN/APG-81, the active electronically scanned array radar was first flown on August 23 and 25 on Northrop Grumman's BAC-1-11 testbed aircraft. During the flights, the all-aspect search, air-track and synthetic-aperture radar mode capabilities of the radar were successfully evaluated against airborne and ground-based targets.

The radar's first flight tests in the BAC-1-11 aircraft were conducted over the local airspace in the vicinity of Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector headquarters complex adjacent to the Baltimore/Washington International Airport. In November, the first F-35 radar system will be delivered to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. in Fort Worth, Texas, where it will be installed into the JSF Mission Systems Integration Lab and tested with other F-35 mission-avionics systems.

The F-35 is a stealthy, supersonic multi-role fighter designed to replace a wide range of aging fighter and strike aircraft. Three variants derived from a common design will ensure the F-35 meets the performance needs of the US Air Force, US Marine Corps, US Navy and allied defense forces worldwide, while staying within strict affordability targets.

In addition to providing the radar, Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector is providing the AN/AAS-37 electro-optical distributed aperture system for the F-35. The distributed aperture system will provide F-35 pilots with a unique protective sphere around the aircraft for missile warning, navigation support and night operations.

Northrop Grumman plays a critical role in the development and demonstration of the F-35. Responsibilities range from integrating a major section of the aircraft's structure to producing key avionics and communications subsystems to developing mission-planning software and training systems.


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