The F-35C model stealth fighter. Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin
July 23 (UPI) -- BAE Systems Electronic Systems in Nashua, N.H., has been awarded a $7.8 million modification to an existing contract for electronic warfare work on the F-35.
The modification provides for technical validation and verification, representatives for services in the field and software development.
The contract will be in support of the Electronic Warfare Test Station in association with the F-35 Reprogramming Labs.
Work will be performed in Nashua, Point Mugu, Calif., and San Francisco. It is expected to be completed in December 2021.
Marine Corps fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $3.5 million will be obligated at time of award. None of the funding will expire at the end of the fiscal year.
The F-35 Reprogramming Labs are meant to provide mission date for foreign military sales customers. The current F-35 reprogramming centers are at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and at Point Mugu. They include over 100 engineers and other technical support staff.
The F-35 is a fifth-generation multi-role stealth fighter that is expected to replace much of the air fleet of the three services over the coming years.
Three variants are being produced, including ones capable of aircraft carrier operations for the Navy and vertical take-off and landing models for the Marine Corps to replace the elderly Harrier jet. VTOL jets are capable of operating from smaller flight decks and improvised landing zones.
The F-35 features the most complex sensors and electronic warfare systems ever put on a fighter jet, but the program has been plagued with design flaws, delays and cost overruns. The plane has also experienced software glitches.
The F-35 is expected to be exported extensively to allied nations and is projected to enter widespread active service over the next several years. Several squadrons are operational in the United States and Israel.