Northrop Grumman Corporation has delivered its 500th AN/AAQ-37 Distributed Aperture System (DAS) sensor to Lockheed Martin for integration into the F-35 Lightning II aircraft.
The DAS is a multifunction infrared system that provides passive, spherical battlespace awareness for F-35 pilots by simultaneously detecting and tracking aircraft and missiles in every direction, as well as providing visual imagery for day/night navigation and targeting purposes. DAS imagery projected onto the pilot's helmet mounted display provides the capability to look at targets and terrain through the floor and wings of the aircraft. The DAS works in conjunction with the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-81 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and other onboard systems to give pilots an unprecedented degree of situational awareness.
"This production milestone is a testament to the maturity of the sensor design and our manufacturing processes," said Mark Rossi, Northrop Grumman's DAS business area director. "This revolutionary system is integral to the F-35's fifth-generation leap in technology and Northrop Grumman is ensuring that the sensor systems are ready to meet the warfighter's needs."
As a principal member of the Lockheed Martin-led F-35 industry team, Northrop Grumman performs a significant share of the work required to develop and produce the aircraft. In addition to producing the DAS and software modes, Northrop Grumman designed and produces the aircraft's AN/APG-81AESA radar and communications subsystems; produces the center fuselage; develops mission systems and mission-planning software; leads the team's development of pilot and maintenance training system courseware; and manages the team's use, support and maintenance of low-observable technologies.