Northrop Grumman announced Wednesday that it has delivered the operational software package for the AN/AAQ-37 electro-optical distributed aperture system on the F-35 strike fighter. The delivery was made to Lockheed Martin, F-35 prime contractor, for integration on the stealth fighter once flight tests on surrogate platforms are complete. “This software delivery represents the final, full-performance, operational flight program-approved version, following an in-depth, eight-year product development and test phase,” said Mark Rossi, Northrop’s program development EO-DAS director. The AN/AAQ-37 is a high-resolution, omni-directional infrared sensor system that will provide F-35 pilots with advanced spherical situational awareness, including detection and tracking of missiles and threat aircraft. With DAS, the pilots will actually be able to see what’s underneath them through the floor of their aircraft.
More than 100 B-21s will be needed if the nation is to avoid creating a high demand/low capacity capability, panelists said on a Hudson Institute webinar. The B-21's flexibility, stealth, range and payload will be in high demand for a wide range of missions, both traditional and new.