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Northrop reports F-35 sensor milestone

March 15, 2013 at 10:35 AM
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BALTIMORE, March 15 (UPI) -- Northrop Grumman reports a production milestone in the F-35 fighter program -- delivery of its 500th DAS sensor for integration into the fighter.

The AN/AAQ-37 Distributed Aperture System, delivered to Lockheed Martin, is an infrared system for passive, spherical battlespace awareness. It simultaneously detects and tracks aircraft and missiles and provides visual imagery for navigation and targeting.

Its imagery is projected onto a pilot's helmet mounted display, works in conjunction with the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-81 active electronically scanned array radar and other onboard systems.

"This production milestone is a testament to the maturity of the sensor design and our manufacturing processes," said Mark Rossi, Northrop Grumman's DAS business area director. "This revolutionary system is integral to the F-35's fifth-generation leap in technology and Northrop Grumman is ensuring that the sensor systems are ready to meet the warfighter's needs."

In addition to producing the DAS and software modes for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, Northrop produces components such as radar and communications sub-systems and the aircraft's center fuselage.

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