Amid rising concerns over the slow production of US’ most-sought-after stealth fighter jets – the F-35s, US Aerospace Giants Lockheed Martin has awarded the contract for the production and delivery of additional electronic warfare (EW) systems to UK’s BAE Systems to enable speedy development of the fighter jets.
As reported by Reuters, earlier this year, Lockheed Martin was forced to slow down the production of its stealthy F-35 fighters at its facility in Texas, US, due to the delivery delays of parts of the fighter jets, coming down to the effect of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Greg Ulmer, Vice President and General Manager of the F-35 Lightning II Program at Lockheed Martin, told Reuters – “We’re going to slow the production rate down for about two to three months.”
Companies that make parts for the structural components of the jet aircraft are having to slow production due to the virus.” said Ulmer
In the light of the events, it is possible that Lockheed decided to hand over the contract of the important EW systems to BAE Systems who stay committed to delivering affordable EW systems to its customers with speed and agility.
Deborah Norton, vice president of F-35 Solutions at BAE Systems, said – “Our goal is to deliver capabilities that provide warfighters with a distinct advantage on the battlefield.” his contract underscores our partnership with Lockheed Martin and our collective commitment to deliver affordable, sustainable, and world-class electronic warfare systems to combat evolving threats.”
According to a statement issued by the company, BAE Systems will focus their efforts on the production and delivery of additional electronic warfare (EW) systems for Lot 15, Lot 16 long lead, sustainment spares and retrofit kits for the 5th Generation F-35 Lightning II, providing advanced situational awareness and threat response capabilities that support critical missions in contested airspace.
Electronic Warfare represents the aircraft’s ability to use the electromagnetic spectrum waves to either disrupt, intercept, or sabotage enemy electronic systems in offensive operations or to protect interested assets using the same.
The increasing use of advanced electronics in 21st-century weapons makes the employment of EW equipment extremely essential for the arsenal of any modern army.
The contract is followed by the company’s production and delivery of more than 500 EW systems for the F-35 as a key system partner, which matched Lockheed Martin’s airframe production.
The British defense firm is involved in all the stages of the lifecycle of the product, involving the development till the sustainment, and actively designs and develops new capabilities to enhance the system’s offensive and defensive capabilities, while maintaining its readiness for warfighters under a performance-based logistics sustainability contract.