Thursday, January 26, 2023

BAE Systems delivers its 3,000th vehicle management computer for F-35

BAE Systems, a global leader in electronic warfare, announced on Friday the delivery of its 3,000th vehicle management computer (VMC) and 1,000th active inceptor system (AIS)  to Lockheed Martin for the F-35 Lightning II aircraft. 

According to a company news release, the VMC and AIS are flight-critical systems that provide each F-35 jet with the ability to operate safely and reliably in demanding environments, with decreased pilot workload and enhanced mission effectiveness.

“At BAE Systems, we are dedicated to supporting our warfighters with the most advanced systems and technologies,” said Ehtisham Siddiqui, vice president and general manager of Controls and Avionics Solutions at BAE Systems. “These two milestones underscore our partnership with Lockheed Martin to consistently deliver proven flight-critical and mission-critical systems on time for the F-35 aircraft.”


The VMC unit provides advanced hardware and computing for the F-35’s digital fly-by-wire flight control system and utility systems (fuel, electrical, and hydraulic system controls), which maximize system integration to improve mission efficiency and safety. BAE Systems has successfully reached full-rate production – increasing deliveries from 10 shipsets per month to 25 shipsets per month to achieve program requirements.

BAE Systems has also reached full-rate production at a level of 19 shipsets per month for its active inceptors, which are used by the pilot to direct and maneuver the aircraft. The AIS consists of the inceptor control unit, active side stick controller, and active quadrant throttle assembly. The high-integrity inceptors provide pilots with tactical feedback through active technology for increased situational awareness, safety, and mission survivability.

The company continues to invest in equipment, testing, and infrastructure upgrades for best-in-class manufacturing efficiency and aftermarket support. These improvements contributed to a 100 percent quality rating in both VMC and AIS production for 2020 from Lockheed Martin. Work for the VMC and AIS occurs at BAE Systems facilities in Endicott, New York and Rochester, UK, respectively.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.