|F-35A Joint Strike Fighter. Photo: Wikipedia
[Avionics Today 01-06-2014] Cubic Corp. has been awarded a series of contracts from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics to produce and add enhancements to the Air Combat Training System (ACTS) of the F-35 fighter jet, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). Unlike the wing-mounted pods used on fourth generation fighters, the F-35 version of the P5 Combat Training System (P5CTS) incorporates an internally mounted subsystem that enables the fifth generation jet to maintain its stealth characteristics while training.
Cubic and DRS Technologies, the principal subcontractor, are under a multimillion-dollar contract of an unspecified amount to produce additional JSF P5 systems to support production aircraft. Cubic will make two enhancements to the system, including an upgrade to make the ground subsystem compliant to Microsoft Windows 7 operating system and an upgrade of the encryption capability for the JSF P5 systems. The JSF P5 system uses the same data link as the P5CTS/TCTS system used by the U.S. Air Force, Air National Guard, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and many international partners. The JSF P5 data link can receive and process information from any P5CTS or Tactical Combat Training System (TCTS) external pod including unencrypted information from fourth generation aircraft.
“Our system assures the F-35 community an integrated and comprehensive [Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation] ACMI debrief for mixed-aircraft training,” said Dave Schmitz, president of Cubic Defense Applications.