|Rockwell Collins F-35 DAS. Photo: Rockwell Collins|
[Avionics Today 02-20-2015] Rockwell Collins has expanded the company’s Sydney facility where F-35 Lightning II Distributed Aperture System (DAS) optical assemblies will be manufactured. The expansion is a result of a long term agreement Rockwell Collins signed with Northrop Grumman in 2014 to produce optical assemblies in Australia for the DAS on the Lockheed Martin F-35 aircraft.
The DAS is a multifunction 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 both day and night navigation. DAS imagery projected onto the pilot’s helmet-mounted display provides the capability to, in effect, look virtually at terrain and the rest of the outside world, 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 enhance a pilot’s situational awareness.
“Having access to new state-of-the-art manufacturing capability located in Australia is a great example of the truly international nature of the F-35 program,” said Phil Jasper, executive vice president and chief operating officer of government systems for Rockwell Collins.