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Monday, January 26, 2009

Avionics-Equipped F-35 Rolls Out

Lockheed Martin has completed the first F-35 Lightning II equipped with mission systems, leading to the first flight tests of the aircraft with its full complement of avionics.

The short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variant left Lockheed Martin’s factory in Fort Worth, Texas, Jan. 21, and is scheduled for delivery to the flight line by the end of the month. First flight of the avionics-equipped aircraft, designated BF-4, is expected this summer.

BF-4 is fitted with a BAE Systems electronic warfare system and Northrop Grumman’s AN/APG-81 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar and Integrated Communications, Navigation and Identification suite. It joins a fleet of five F-35s already undergoing testing. Earlier aircraft are validating F-35 subsystems and flying qualities.
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