NE15 Joint Information Bureau Public Affairs
6/25/2015 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- The
past meets the future when a distinctive looking aircraft with the nose
and electronics of an F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter and the body of
a 1960's passenger jet participates in one of the U.S. military's
largest electronic warfare exercises.
A modified BAC 1-11 serves as a flying test platform for the F-35's
AN/APG-81 active electronically scanned array radar (AESA) and its
AN/AAQ-37 distributed aperture system (DAS) which provides F-35 pilots
with 360-degree spherical situational awareness and target tracking
"Northern Edge offers an excellent opportunity to observe some of the
F-35's electronics in a robust and joint environment," said Air Force
Major Scott Fann, F-35 Joint Program Current Capabilities Lead. "During
this U.S. Pacific Command exercise, we are focused on some of the
advanced capabilities of the distributed aperture system and the jet's
electronic counter measures."
While flying over the skies of Alaska, the F-35's radar demonstrated
robust electronic protection, electronic attack, passive maritime and
experimental modes, and data-linked air and surface tracks to improve
legacy fighter situational awareness. It also searched the more than
50,000 square mile exercise area for surface vessels, and accurately
detected and tracked them in minimal time.
The F-35's AESA radar and DAS are produced by Northrop Grumman
Electronic Systems and work together to simultaneously detect and track
air and ground targets within the battlespace. The system enables pilots
to see in all weather conditions, day or night. It automatically warns
pilots about incoming threats and then pinpoints the location of the
threat for tactical maneuvering.
"Having the F-35's flying test platform participate in this joint
exercise helps us confirm the maturity and utility of key capabilities,"
said Fann. "It also helps us identify areas that might need refinement
before we enter formal operational testing."
Northern Edge 2015 gathered more than 6,000 active duty, National Guard
and Reserve component Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast
Guard military participants the opportunity to train together in
Alaska's vast Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex, including the Gulf of
Alaska maritime training area.