The US Joint Program Office (JPO) has begun the process for rolling out Block 4 (full combat) capabilities onto the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).
A USD211.3 million contract for “pre-modernization efforts” related to a Block 4.1 software drop was awarded to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) on 2 April, with work to be completed by the end of July 2019.
Now known as Continuous Capability Development and Delivery (C2D2), Block 4 will enable the F-35 to employ its full panoply of sensors and munitions. With the wider Block 4 capability to be rolled out in four increments (Block 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 and 4.4), Block 4.1 is primarily software based, although it does also introduce some new capabilities as well as correcting deficiencies to older ones carried over from the system design and development (SDD) phase of the programme, which is shortly due to conclude.
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