Northrop de­liv­ers 500th DAS sen­sor for F-35


Northrop Grum­man Cor­po­ra­tion (NOC) has de­liv­ered its 500th AN/ AAQ-37 Dis­trib­uted Aper­ture Sys­tem (DAS) sen­sor to Lockheed Martin for in­te­gra­tion into the F-35 Light­ning II air­craft.

The DAS is a multi-func­tion in­frared sys­tem that pro­vides pas­sive, spher­i­cal bat­tlespace aware­ness for F-35 pi­lots by si­mul­ta­ne­ously de­tect­ing and track­ing air­craft and mis­siles in ev­ery di­rec­tion, as well as pro­vid­ing vis­ual im­agery for day/night nav­i­ga­tion and tar­get­ing pur­poses. DAS im­agery pro­jected onto the pi­lot’s hel­met mounted dis­play pro­vides the ca­pa­bil­ity to look at tar­gets and ter­rain through the floor and wings of the air­craft. The DAS works in con­junc­tion with the Northrop Grum­man AN/ APG-81 ac­tive elec­tron­i­cally scanned ar­ray (AESA) radar and other on­board sys­tems to give pi­lots an un­prece­dented de­gree of situ- ational aware­ness.

“This pro­duc­tion mile­stone is a tes­ta­ment to the ma­tu­rity of the sen­sor de­sign and our man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­cesses,” said Mark Rossi, Northrop Grum­man’s DAS Busi­ness Area Di­rec­tor. “This rev­o­lu­tion­ary sys­tem is in­te­gral to the F-35’s fifth-gen­er­a­tion leap in tech­nol­ogy and Northrop Grum­man is en­sur­ing that the sen­sor sys­tems are ready to meet the warfighter’s needs.”

As a prin­ci­pal mem­ber of the Lockheed Martin-led F-35 in­dus­try team, Northrop Grum­man per­forms a sig­nif­i­cant share of the work re­quired to de­velop and pro­duce the air­craft. In ad­di­tion to pro­duc­ing the DAS and soft­ware modes, Northrop Grum­man de­signed and pro­duces the air­craft’s AN/APG-81AESA radar and com­mu­ni­ca­tions sub­sys­tems; pro­duces the cen­tre fuse­lage; de­vel­ops mis­sion sys­tems and mis­sion-plan­ning soft­ware; leads the team’s devel­op­ment of pi­lot and main­te­nance train­ing sys­tem course­ware; and man­ages the team’s use, sup­port and main­te­nance of low-ob­serv­able tech­nolo­gies.

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