BAE Systems announced a critical program milestone with the successful insertion of new technology into its EW systems for the global fleet of Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft. Upgrades to the AN/ASQ-239 system prepare it to meet future capability requirements and improve the warfighters’ ability to conduct critical missions in contested airspace.

The advanced F-35 EW system is a proven digital EW/countermeasures suite that provides pilots with real-time battlespace situational awareness and rapid-response capabilities. The ASQ-239 provides fully integrated radar warning, targeting support and self-protection capabilities to engage, counter, jam or evade threats to improve survivability and mission effectiveness.

BAE's upgrades deliver the same functionality of the previous system in a smaller footprint, reducing volume and power requirements and creating space for Block IV modernization upgrades. The update also resolves issues with manufacturing obsolescence that would have required costly redesign.

The Digital Channelized Receiver/Techniques Generator and Tuner Insertion Program (DTIP) technology was introduced into BAE Systems’ manufacturing process in 2018, with the first deliveries starting in July. The team is consistently providing 11 shipsets per month, enabling the company to continue on-time delivery.

BAE's capacity expansion strategy — including a $100 million investment in 80,000 square feet of manufacturing space, process automation and the growth of its highly skilled EW workforce by more than 23 percent — enabled BAE Systems to become the first F-35 supplier to insert updated technology into its systems at full production rates, delivering 11 systems per month and ramping production to match aircraft production.

“We’ve delivered almost 400 EW systems to date, and now we’ve updated the architecture and are manufacturing it at a high rate of production. This technology insertion gives the EW system room to grow and will help the F-35 maintain its dominance of the electromagnetic spectrum. The successful insertion of DTIP was the result of the outstanding focus, dedication, and teamwork of our engineering and production teams working in close coordination with our customer.” — Deborah Norton, VP of F-35 Solutions at BAE Systems

BAE Systems has a strong legacy of 60+ years of EW experience, providing 13,500 tactical systems for more than 80 different platforms, including F-22, F-16, F-15, B-1, B-2 and classified platforms.