US Navy Eyes Automated-Landing Capability for F-35, Drones

The new system would allow planes to land on aircraft carriers in all weather, day or night. Drones and planes would not depend on radars and balloons any longer.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — A $255 million US Navy contract to develop the next-generation precision landing system for fighter jets and unmanned drones includes plans for automated-landing capability, defense contractor Raytheon International said in a press release Wednesday.

"Raytheon will complete development for an auto-land capability to be used by both manned and unmanned aircraft, as well as finalize the integration with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: the first aircraft to be equipped with JPALS technology," the release stated.

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JPALS, or Joint Precision Approach and Landing System, is intended to replace current landing methods that depend on radars and beacons.

The technology is based on navigation satellites, and, once perfected, would allow planes to land on aircraft carriers in all weather, day or night, the release explained.

The Navy contract includes options that, if exercised, would raise the value to $270 million, the release noted.

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