The US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has announced the delivery of the last Joint Precision Approach and Landing Systems (JPALS) unit for the F-35 aircraft.
The new delivery milestone was achieved on 16 March, which is on-time or ahead of the stipulated delivery schedule.
The JPALS is a ship-relative system equipped with the F-35 Lightning II fighter jets to provide enhanced capabilities to the US Navy fleet at sea.
It is a Global Positioning System (GPS)-based system that provides accurate approach and landing capabilities to the amphibious assault vessels and aircraft carrier ships to support the operations of aircraft aboard.
Furthermore, the JPALS also provides over-the-air inertial alignment and surveillance for all weather operations.
US Naval Air Traffic Management Systems (PMA-213) programme manager captain Kevin Watkins said: “This is a significant milestone for the JPALS team and highlights the incredible efforts of hundreds of our teammates over the past decade who developed and now have fully delivered these critical systems that our warfighters and international partners need.
“This team overcame many barriers over the past several years, successfully achieving the required outcome to deliver all of the capabilities needed, on time and affordably.”
Currently, the JPALS is being used with the carrier and amphibious assault ships of various nations, including the US, the UK and Italy.
It is equipped with the UK Royal Navy’s HMS Queen Elizabeth and the Italian Navy’s ITS Cavour.
Japan is the third foreign military sale customer to acquire this capability.
Last month, the US Navy awarded a contract to Raytheon Intelligence & Space to purchase JPALS for Japan.
Scheduled for delivery in 2024, the system will be deployed on the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s Izumo-class helicopter carrier ship JS Izumo.