SAN DIEGO, 3 June 2010. The Lockheed Martin Aeronautics segment in Fort Worth, Texas, expects to make the first flight of the aircraft carrier version of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter sometime this week, which would complete first flights of all three versions of the latest U.S. jet fighter bomber, Lockheed Martin officials say.
Eric George, director of F-35 avionics mission systems and software in Fort Worth, Texas, made the first-flight announcement today in a keynote address at the Avionics USA/Military & Aerospace Electronics Forum conference and trade show in San Diego.
The carrier-based (CV) version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the third of three versions of the Joint Strike Fighter. First flights of the other two versions -- a U.S. Air Force long-runway version and a short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing (STOVL) version have been completed previously, George says.
Development of the F-35 has been a long road, yet by this summer all aircraft on the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics F-35 production line in Fort Worth will be production aircraft, with planned completion of all research, development, and demonstration aircraft, George says.
This fifth-generation jet fighter-bomber will have more than 8 million lines of software code by the time it reaches its block-3 configuration. The carrier-based design to fly for the first time this week has 5.6 million lines of code, George told conference attendees.
The flight computer in the F-35 is a Power PC microprocessor based system running application software written in C++ running on the Integrity real-time operating system from Green Hills Software in Santa Barbara, Calif. The last technology refresh to upgrade F-35 avionics computer technology is set for 2012, which should be the last technology refresh for planned F-35 production aircraft, George says.
Lockheed Martin has made lifetime buys on all processors and other electronic components necessary to see the aircraft through its production cycle, George says.
Onboard computers, sensors, and avionics on the F-35 represent perhaps the most modern and sophisticated aircraft avionics architecture in the world, George says. The jet fighter-bomber's radar and electro-optical sensor systems give the aircraft not only precise targeting capability, but also give the jet a sophisticated intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capability, he says.