06:05 GMT07 July 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The global fleet of F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters is to receive upgrades to its early warning (EW) AN/ASQ-239 radar system, BAE Systems announced in a press release on Thursday.

    “BAE Systems… today announced a critical program milestone with the successful insertion of new technology into its EW systems for the global fleet of fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft”, the release said.

    Upgrades to the AN/ASQ-239 will position it to meet future capability requirements and improve warfighters’ ability to conduct critical missions in contested airspace, BAE Systems said.

    READ MORE: More Bang, More Buck: US Considers Adding ICBM Interceptors to F-35

    The improved EW system delivers the functionality of the previous system in a smaller footprint, reducing volume and power requirements – creating space for Block IV modernization upgrade… [and] also resolves issues with manufacturing obsolescence”, the release said. The ASQ-239 system provides fully integrated radar warning, targeting support, and self-protection capabilities to engage, counter, jam, or evade threats to improve survivability and mission effectiveness, BAE Systems said.

    A late 2018 Defense Department assessment obtained by Bloomberg News prior to its official release revealed that the F-35 is not projected to meet the expected service life of 8,000 fleet hours but may be as low as 2,100 hours, suggesting that some of them will hit their service life limit in 2026.

    Other notable setbacks included issues with the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS), a computerized maintenance tool that functions as the fleet's management backbone, and "unacceptable" accuracy in weapons systems used in air-to-ground.

    READ MORE: F-35 Program Officials Covering Up Life-Threatening Flaws in Aircraft — Report


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    warning system, upgrades, radar, F-35, BAE Systems, United States
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