Statements from BAE Systems indicate that new sensors and more powerful signal processors will make the U.S. F-35 stealth fighter more effective in combat.

BAE is upgrading the electronic warfare system of the F-35 (Block 4) under a $493 million contract from Lockheed Martin.

Production of the new system will begin in 2024. 

“This contract provides funding for the development and improvement of the basic REB Block 4 hardware for the F-35, said Lisa Aucoin, Vice President of F-35 Solutions at BAE Systems. It is noted that the update should provide the fighter with “excellent opportunities to anticipate emerging and evolving threats.”

Under the contract of the contract, the F-35 will receive more powerful basic equipment for the EW AN / ASQ-239 system. The update should “improve situational awareness, the possibility of electromagnetic attacks and countermeasures through new sensors and more powerful signal processing”.

According to BAE Systems, the capabilities of the upgraded AN / ASQ-239 will be used on other platforms to ensure that all fighter jets are ready for state-of-the-art EW capabilities.

This will allow friendly forces to “prevent emerging threats”.

About AN/ASQ-239

The AN/ASQ-239 provides all-aspect, broadband protection to help the F-35 reach well-defended targets and suppress enemy radars.

Currently, this system is unique in its ability to operate in signal-dense environments, providing the aircraft with radio frequency and infrared countermeasures, and rapid response capabilities like no other aircraft in the world.

Its platform level design provides improved reliability and maintainability, optimizing long-term lifecycle costs.

The AN/ASQ-239 also sports a modular design with an architecture that allows new capabilities to be added for the F-35, a 5th generation aircraft.

The improved Electronic Warfare system delivers a world-class functionality in a smaller footprint, reducing volume and power requirements and creating space for future upgrades.