BAE Systems has received a Block 4 modernization contract award from Lockheed Martin to enhance the offensive and defensive electronic warfare (EW) capabilities of the F-35 Lightning II, a fifth-generation fighter aircraft. Under the contract, BAE Systems will modernize its AN/ASQ-239 EW countermeasures (EW/CM) system to address emerging threats and maintain U.S. and allied warfighters’ ability to safely conduct missions in contested airspace.

The Block 4 program is a multi-year, multi-contract design and development effort that will add 11 new capabilities to the EW system. These improvements will be made as part of the new F-35 agile contracting and development paradigm called Continuous Capability Development and Delivery (C2D2). The C2D2 construct is one in which capabilities are continuously being developed and fielded in 6–12 month intervals to provide warfighters with incremental enhancements and keep pace with the evolving threats.

BAE Systems has been the EW supplier for the F-35 program for the past 14 years, successfully designing and developing the block 1, 2 and 3 configurations and delivering production units for each of the Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) lots 1-11. BAE Systems has delivered more than 500 F-35 AN/ASQ-239 EW/CM shipsets and is currently matching aircraft production with continual on-time delivery as the program ramps to full-rate production.

As part of its rigorous development process, the company has invested in process automation, facility optimization, quality assurance, human capital and supply chain excellence to deliver capabilities with speed and agility.

As a leading EW provider, BAE Systems has a deep understanding of the evolving threat environment and warfighter needs, with more than 60 years experience designing, qualifying, delivering and sustaining highly reliable and maintainable systems.

“The F-35 will be in service for decades, and we’re committed to providing our pilots with an AN/ASQ-239 capability that affords a decisive and sustained EW operational advantage. Our robust, modular architecture enables us to efficiently insert new capabilities, supporting the next wave of technical innovation while proactively addressing total product lifecycle sustainability.” — Deborah Norton, VP of F-35 Solutions at BAE Systems