(A Northrop Grumman test engineer conducts manufacturing testing on a transceiver module for the AN/ASQ-242 communications, navigation and identification system for the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter aircraft. Photo, courtesy of Northrop Grumman
The system--the AN/ASQ-242 communications, navigation and identification (CNI) system--provides F-35 pilots with 27 different avionics functions, including; Identification Friend or Foe, precision navigation and voice and data communications. CNI allows pilots to operate these functions simultaneously as part of the F-35 mission systems suite.
"By incorporating lessons learned from previous programs and early F-35 low-rate production lots, we're delivering highly robust and reliable CNI systems that demonstrate extensive fifth-generation fighter capabilities," said Mike Twyman, vice president and general manager of Northrop's defense systems division.
In addition to the CNI system, Northrop also provides the center fuselage and electro-optical subsystem for the F-35.
According to another F-35 Lighting II supplier, initial operational capability for the fighter jet is expected by 2015.
Related: Military Avionics News