The company said adding Australian production to its manufacturing efforts comes from a new long-term agreement with Northrop Grumman, which makes the aircraft’s Electro-Optical Distributed Aperture System.
“With the support and investment of the Commonwealth of Australia, we’re proud to be on the path to be manufacturing 40 percent of this vital assembly in Australia,” said Nick Gibbs, Rockwell Collins managing director for Australia. “Our employees are very excited to be part of the F-35 supply chain with our new state-of-the-art precision optics manufacturing capability.”
Rockwell Collins said it is in the process of qualifying its facility in Melbourne, Australia, to produce the assemblies that are now produced in the United States.
Northrop’s Distributed Aperture System is a multi-function infrared system. It provides passive, spherical battlespace awareness for F-35 pilots by simultaneously detecting and tracking aircraft and missiles in all directions and by providing visual imagery for day/night navigation and targeting purposes. DAS imagery projected onto the pilot's helmet-mounted display. The system works in conjunction with the Northrop’s active electronically scanned array radar and other onboard systems.