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F-35’s new block


Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II has entered flight testing using ‘Block 1’ software.

November 16: Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II has entered flight testing using ‘Block 1’ software, the first of three principal software-development blocks for its mission systems.

F-35B BF-04 has had the software installed and first flew in the new configuration on November 5 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland. “Getting this software up and flying in an F-35 is a big step in the process of validating our avionics,” said Larry Lawson, Lockheed Martin F-35 programme general manager. “The flight went as planned, and we look forward to expanded mission systems testing in the coming months.”

The Block 1 software will enable most of the primary sensors on the F-35 and forms the foundation of all subsequent software blocks. According to Lockheed Martin it “enables information fusion from the F-35’s radar, electronic warfare system, distributed aperture system, electro-optical targeting system and other sensors, and provides initial weapons-release capability”.

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