Northrop Grumman, a provider of security solutions such as C4ISR, unmanned systems, missile systems and cybersecurity solutions, has announced that the company will take part in the Bold Alligator 2012 with the BAC1011 test aircraft enabled with F-35 sensors.
The Bold Alligator 2012 is one of the largest joint / coalition amphibious exercise hosted by U.S. Fleet Forces and the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command. The mission of the 2012 exercise is to plan and execute an amphibious assault in a medium-threat environment from a sea base by a brigade. This exercise has been intended to strengthen, revitalize and refine the amphibious competencies of the Marine and Navy Corps.
The Vice President – Combat Avionics Systems at Northrop Grumman, Jeff Leavitt stated that with the delivery of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter capabilities, the Navy and Marine Corps will be poised to begin using the DAS and radar capabilities in operational context. The naval forces participating in the 2012 Bold Alligator include marine landing forces, an amphibious ready group, an aircraft carrier strike group and NATO alliance ships.
For the exercise, Northrop’s BAC1-11 test aircraft will be configured to provide enhanced radar capabilities. The AN/APG-81 AESA radar and the infrared AN/AAQ-37 DAS systems will provide the required air-to-ground and air-to-air reconnaissance capabilities of the F-35 to the forces. The AN/APG-81 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar is capable of full range air-to-surface and air-to-air functions and is complemented by electronic warfare, reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities. The AN/AAQ-37 distributed aperture system (DAS) delivers passive spherical awareness, tracks and detects missiles and aircraft threats, provides day/night visual and supports the navigation of the aircraft. The DAS is a 360° spherical situational awareness system developed by Northrop Grumman.