Northrop Grumman's distributed aperture system could bring BMD capability to F-35
By Geoff Fein
Northrop Grumman is testing its Distributed Aperture System (DAS), which is designed to provide multifunctional situational awareness for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, and exploring the potential for the radar to be a ballistic missile defence (BMD) asset.
DAS brings six sensors mounted on top, bottom, forward, and aft to the F-35. "These six sensors, when you put them all together, give you an entire unobstructed field of regard around the aircraft," Pete Bartos, fifth-generation improvements and derivatives director for Northrop Grumman told IHS Jane's on 18 September at the annual Air Force Association symposium in Washington, DC.
"It is a flexible, adaptable sensor, the first of its kind, and as we take it out into the environment we find all sorts of new things it can do that were not in the original requirements document," Bartos added. "Something we have been testing recently is BMD application for the sensor."
On 4 June 2010, Northrop Grumman decided to test out the BMD capability of DAS by tracking the launch of a Space-X Falcon 9 two-stage rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. "The second stage is very representative of the class of medium-range ballistic missiles," he said.197 of 507 words
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