Testing will soon begin on the next-generation Block 4 software expected to provide a significant capability boost to Lockheed MartinÂs F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
On 16 January, the
The contracts will include Âassessments and evaluationsÂ to ensure Block 4-equipped aircraft meet Âfuture operational requirementsÂ , it says.
When completed, Block 4 software will provide the F-35 with improved radar and electronic warfare systems, and allow the aircraft to carry additional weapons used by both the US military and other F-35 customers.
A document posted on the website of the
This states that aircraft with the Block 4 software package will be able to carry joint stand-off cruise missiles Â including
Additionally, the iterative development will add an automated ground collision avoidance system, better protection from hacking and improvements to power and thermal management, to avoid issues that have been raised over the JSF's integrated power package since at least 2007. These culminated in a grounding of the F-35 fleet in 2011.
Block 4 upgrades will also give F-35s the ability to carry speed-reducing drag chutes deployed at landing, which will allow the aircraft to land on icy runways Â a critical capability for F-35 partners like
It will also have streaming video from its electro-optical targeting system and an improved ability to identify targets, the document states.
The contracts are likely to call for development of a prototype to test systems, upgrades to hardware, engineering and design work and for the acquisition of technical, administrative and financial data, the navy's notice says.
The F-35 programme office says Lockheed is likely to build prototypes of subsystems and components, but not a dedicated Block 4 test aircraft.
The Block 4 software has only received funding in the 2014 fiscal year. The
Most Popular Stories
- Koch Brothers Step up Anti-Obamacare Campaign
- FDIC Sues Big Banks Over Rate Manipulation
- SoCalGas Reaches Record Spend on Diversity Suppliers
- Stocks Close Lower Ahead of Crimea Vote
- Vybz Kartel Convicted of Murder
- U.S. Consumer Sentiment Falls in Early March
- Is Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 in Andaman Sea?
- Jittery Investors Dumping Russian Stocks
- Ulta Shares Look Good on Strong Q4
- FDIC Accuses Big Banks of Fraud, Conspiracy