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JPALS landing system reaches initial operational capability

The Navy declared initial operating capability for Joint Precision Approach and Landing System earlier this month. Photo courtesy U.S. Navy
The Navy declared initial operating capability for Joint Precision Approach and Landing System earlier this month. Photo courtesy U.S. Navy

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.

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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.

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