Boeing JSF avionics team eyes COTS and open architectures to fight obsolescence

By John Keller

FARNBOROUGH, England -- Avionics designers for the Boeing version of the future Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) plan to use an open-architecture approach and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components in their effort to field and maintain cutting-edge electronics technology for the new aircraft.

Officials of the Boeing team -- notably the Raytheon Company's Dr. Peter S. Pao, vice president and general manager joint strike fighter, as well as deputy general manager of air combat & strike systems -- made their comments July 26 at the Farnborough Air Show in Farnborough, England.

Competing to build the JSF are two industry teams, the first led by the Boeing Co. of Seattle, and the second by Lockheed Martin Corp. of Fort Worth, Texas. U.S. Defense Department officials are set to choose the JSF contractor next spring. The JSF is to be an air-superiority jet fighter and light-attack bomber capable of operating from military airports, aircraft carriers, and unimproved fields.

The Boeing JSF's integrated core processor, on which Raytheon is teaming with Boeing and with Harris Corp. of Melbourne, Fla., is to be primarily COTS, Pao says. The aircraft's RF system, however, will have substantial custom-designed electronics content.

"The processor is COTS, but the RF system you really cannot buy off the shelf," Pao said at a Farnborough news conference. Pao is with the Raytheon Electronic Systems division in El Segundo, Calif.

The integrated core processor, which experts will develop on the Intel Pentium microprocessor and the Windows NT operating system, will be based on the Motorola PowerPC microprocessor and Wind River VxWorks real-time operating system, Pao says.

Raytheon avionics designers also are pursuing an electronics strategy calling for "a continuous technology and product development concept that produces a forward- and backward-compatible family of products."

This approach calls for Raytheon designers to build in the capability to upgrade JSF electronics components quickly as technology improves, and also to re-use component designs from previous aircraft designs, Pao says.

For example, Raytheon experts are designing radar, electronic warfare, and data processing subsystems that they can use on the JSF as well as on upgrades to the U.S. Navy F/A-18 fighter-bomber, Pao says.

In other areas of the Boeing JSF electronics, engineers at Sanders, a Lockheed Martin Company in Nashua, N.H., are designing the aircraft's integrated radar and electronic warfare suite.

The aircraft also will has a third-generation distributed infrared sensor that PAO says will provide "spherical coverage" of the aircraft, which will be integrated with the pilot's helmet-mounted display. This way the pilot will be able to "see" through the skin of the aircraft.

Get All the Military Aerospace Electronics News Delivered to Your Inbox or Your Mailbox

Subscribe to Military Aerospace Electronics Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest information on:

  • C4ISR
  • Cyber Security
  • Embedded Computing
  • Unmanned Vehicles

Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

Related Products

Rigid Printed Circuit Boards

Rigid printed circuit boards can only meet diverse industrial applications if the best materials ...

Printed Circuit Board Assembly

Printed Circuit Board Assembly (PCB ASSY) is as critical a process as circuit board manufacturing.

Flexible Printed Circuit Board

Flexible Printed Circuit Boards are one of the most popular types of circuit boards used in a var...

UniSlide® Stages

UniSlide Assemblies deliver precise movement in one, two or three dimensions with linear motion. ...

Velmex VXM™ Motor Controller

Velmex VXM Controller Systems are integral components of the power systems that efficiently drive...

Velmex XSlide™ Stages

The Velmex XSlide Assembly is a compact positioning stage highly suitable for high performance in...

BiSlide® Stages

Velmex manual or motorized BiSlide positioning stage's modular design makes it highly configurabl...

Micro Borescope Ultra Thin

German made, it is the best choice for extremely small inspection areas, with diameters as small ...

Video Borescope ORION

Ø 4mm (0.16”) to 10mm (0.44”)Working Lengths: up to 30 meters (98')3.5” color LCD display, with 7...

Rigid Video Borescope HERON-A with Tip Articulation

CMOS Camera Chip: 450,000 pixels 340° Rotation of the Probe Articulating Tip (180˚in each directi...

Related Companies


Provides customized Printed Circuit Board fabrication in California. The entire process can be customized according t...

Uniforce Sales and Engineering

Provides solutions to machine vision and image acquisition in many applications, including in the fields of medical, ...

Velmex Inc

Manufactures linear and rotary motion-control positioning equipment for scientific, research, photonics, machining an...

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc

GA-ASI is a leading manufacturer of proven, reliable Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-opt...

TASC Technical & Assembly Services Corporation Electronic Equipment Manufacturing

Electronic Manufacturing sub-contractor. Circuit Board assembly, Cable Assembly, Wire Harness Assembly, Box Build Ass...

BellowsTech LLC

Develops, designs and manufactures metal bellows using edge welded bellows technology. Expertise in design, machining...

HC Controls Inc

Specialists in design, installation, commissioning, calibration, training and support services to aero engine test fa...


Offers complete solutions for embedded software developers with a focus on mission- and safety-critical applications....

Medit Inc

Supplies remote visual inspection devices. The company is one of the important players in the industry, serving clien...

Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions

About Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions (CWDS) is a long established techno...
Wire News provided by   

Press Releases

Model INCX-4001

The INCX-4001 consists of a high quality audio transceiver specifically designed to implement a complete fiber optic intercom.

Model PS-1210

The PS-1210 is a 1A, 12VDC stand-alone or rack mountable non-switcher (no RF noise) power supply.

Model OS-3121

Optical switches are utilized to disconnect, bypass and reroute fiber optic communications. All of these optical switches are purely optical path, there is no optical to e...


New Design Tools That Help You Develop Radar That Sees the Un-seeable and Detects the Undetectable

Xilinx EW/ISR System Architect, Luke Miller, has new tricks and he’s going to tell you all about them in a new Xilinx Webinar—for free. His Webinar will cover new ways to implement Radar functions including ...
Sponsored by:

All Access Sponsors

Mil & Aero Magazine

July 2015
Volume 26, Issue 7

Download Our Apps




Follow Us On...


Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information

Cyber Security

Monthly newsletter covering cyber warfare, cyber security, information warfare, and information security technologies, products, contracts, and procurement opportunities

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers

Electronic Warfare

Quarterly newsletter covering technologies and applications in electronic warfare, cyber warfare, optical warfare, and spectrum warfare.

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles