The US Navy and Marine Corps have announced the successful demonstraton of integration between Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter and Aegis weapon system during a live missile test.
The integration of the F-35 was tested for the first time to support the Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air (NIFC-CA).
During the live fire missile event, an unmodified F-35B from the Marine Corps’ Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 1, acted as an elevated sensor and detected an over-the-horizon threat.
Using Multi-Function Advanced Data Link (MADL), the aircraft sent data to a ground station that is connected to the Aegis Weapon System on the USS Desert Ship (LLS-1), a land-based ship.
Lockheed said that the target was engaged and intercepted by a Standard Missile 6.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics executive vice-president Orlando Carvalho said: “One of the key defining attributes of a fifth generation fighter is the force multiplier effect it brings to joint operations through its foremost sensor fusion and external communications capabilities.
“Those attributes were successfully proven at White Sands Missile Range in a very realistic demonstration of distributed lethality leveraging a US Marine Corps F-35B and the US Navy’s Aegis Weapon System. This only scratches the surface of the potential warfighting capabilities F-35 aircraft will ultimately enable across our military forces.”
Using Aegis and the F-35 together, warfighters will have increased situational awareness and will be able to better understand the maritime operational environment.
Aegis Baseline 9 delivers a fully open architecture system on US destroyers and is the basis for current and future Aegis Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD).
Baseline 9 is being fielded on in-service destroyers, new construction destroyers and Aegis Ashore.
Image: The F-35 Lightning II and Aegis were tested together during a live fire exercise. Photo: courtesy of Lockheed Martin Corporation.