Barracuda's a hit for Lightning II

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BAE systems has tested and delivered the electronic warfare suite for the F-35 BF-4 Lightning II, the first full avionics aircraft.

The Barracuda suite will detect, analyse, evaluate and react to electronic threats encountered by the aircraft.

Dan Gobel, joint strike fighter electronic warfare vice president for BAE systems, said: ‘Delivery of the first flight-responsive electronic warfare system for F-35 maintains our track record of being on time, on cost, and under weight after 66 months of F-35 system design and development’

The five-year project included an upgrade kit for the program’s electronic support measures test bench. The test bench examines, correlates, and accounts for signals that bounce off an aircraft’s reflective surfaces. The project also included an update of the interface units for the F-35 radio frequency test system. The test system reflects how the system would operate in real-world conditions.

The flight-representative hardware was made up of 120,000 lines of software code and electronic support measures and countermeasures. Two further software releases will be introduced during the flight test program.

The system was delivered to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics’ Mission Systems Integration Laboratory in Fort Worth, Texas. It will be used for integration and then released to the production floor and installed in an F-35 aircraft.