May 18 (UPI) -- The Navy declared initial operational capability for the Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (JPALS) earlier this month, according to a press release issued Tuesday.
According to the Navy, JPALS has been supporting F-35B deployments on LH-class amphibious assault ships with early operational capability since 2016 -- and can now provide the precision navigation and landing capability for F-35s on aircraft carriers as well.
The JPALS IOC declaration is the culmination of years of testing and development that began in 2008, and was accomplished nearly a year ahead of the planned threshold, the Navy said.
"The achievement of JPALS IOC is a positive reflection on the hard work, innovation and resilience from a dedicated team of government and industry professionals who have developed and fielded this critical capability to the Warfighters," Capt. Kevin Watkins, PMA-213 program manager, said in the Navy's release.
JPALS is a global positioning system-based system that works with shipboard air traffic control to guide carrier planes to land on nuclear aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships.
Raytheon received $254 million for the design, development, manufacture, integration, demonstration and test of the system in 2016.