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OCTOBER 2016 ISSUE

F-35 and Aegis Combat System Successfully Demonstrate Integration Potential in First Live Missile Test
 
F-35 and Aegis Combat System Successfully Demonstrate Integration Potential in First Live Missile Test

Two pre-eminent weapon systems, the F-35 Lightning II and Aegis Weapon System, worked together for the first time during a live fire exercise. The joint Lockheed Martin, US Navy and US Marine Corps exercise was the first live fire missile event that successfully demonstrated the integration of the F-35 to support Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA).

During the September 12 test, an unmodified US Marine Corps F-35B from the Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 1, acted as an elevated sensor and detected an over-the-horizon threat. The F-35B sent data through the aircraft’s Multi-Function Advanced Data Link (MADL) to a ground station connected to the Aegis Weapon System on the USS Desert Ship (LLS-1), a land-based ship. The target was subsequently engaged and intercepted by a Standard Missile 6.

“One of the key defining attributes of a 5th Generation fighter is the force multiplier effect it brings to joint operations through its foremost sensor fusion and external communications capabilities,” said Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. “Those attributes were successfully proven at White Sands Missile Range in a very realistic demonstration of distributed lethality leveraging a US Marine Corps F-35B and the US Navy’s Aegis Weapon System. This only scratches the surface of the potential war fighting capabilities F-35 aircraft will ultimately enable across our military forces.”

This capability, when fully realised, will significantly increase the war fighters’ situational awareness using Aegis and the F-35 together to better understand the maritime operational environment. Using any variant of the F-35 as a broad area sensor, the aircraft can significantly increase the Aegis capability to detect, track and engage.

“NIFC-CA is a game changer for the US Navy that extends the engagement range we can detect, analyse and intercept targets,” said Dale Bennett, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems. “The F-35 and Aegis Weapon System demonstration brings us another step closer to realising the true potential and power of the worldwide network of these complex systems to protect and support war fighters, the home front and US allies.”

 
 


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