Lockheed Martin Corp. experts were able to link the F-35 jet fighter-bomber with the Navy's Aegis shipboard combat system during a live-fire exercise, company officials report. The joint exercise between the company, the U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Marine Corps was the first live-fire missile test that demonstrated the integration of the F-35 and the Aegis weapon system to support naval integrated fire control and counter air. During the test, an unmodified Marine Corps F-35B acted as an elevated sensor and detected an over-the-horizon threat. The jet sent data through the aircraft's multifunction advanced data link to a ground station connected to Aegis on the land-based USS Desert Ship. The target then was attacked with a Standard Missile 6. The test reflects how the 5th-generation fighter can be a force multiplier and this capability can increase situational awareness using Aegis and the F-35 together to better understand the maritime operational environment, experts say.