The U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps demonstrated the Lockheed Martin-built F-35 Lightning II aircraft and Aegis Weapon System during a live fire missile test held Monday at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
Lockheed and the two service branches have conducted a Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air operation through the use of the Marine Corps’ unmodified F-35B aircraft and the Navy’s Aegis system, the company said Tuesday.
The F-35B fighter jet worked as a broad area sensor in order to detect a hostile threat and used the Multi-Function Advanced Data Link to transmit data to a land-based station linked to the Lockheed-made Aegis combat platform onboard the USS Desert Ship (LLS-1).
The Aegis system used the data to launch a Standard Missile 6 in order to detect, engage and intercept the target, the company noted.
“NIFC-CA is a game changer for the U.S. Navy that extends the engagement range we can detect, analyze and intercept targets,” said Dale Bennett, executive vice president at Lockheed’s rotary and mission systems business.
The F-35 Lightning II is a fifth-generation fighter plane that has sensors and communications systems and is designed to support air-to-surface, electronic attack, air-to-air as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
The Aegis Combat System is the maritime-based element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System and is composed of SPY-1 air search radar, display and underwater countermeasure systems.
Lockheed’s Aegis Baseline 9 is an open-architecture platform designed to support the Aegis Integrated Air and Missile Defense system and is intended for deployment aboard U.S. destroyer ships and Aegis Ashore system.