Defense contractor Northrop Grumman said Thursday it delivered more than 3,000 AN/AAQ-37 Distributed Aperture System (DAS) electro-optical sensors for the stealthy F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft.
The six infrared DAS sensors on the F-35 provide full spherical situational awareness to the pilot, day and night. The DAS provides a revolutionary capability to autonomously detect and track aircraft and missiles in every direction, while projecting video directly into the pilot’s helmet mounted display and eliminating cockpit obscurities.
The Northrop Grumman produced DAS sensor has demonstrated the ability to expand into additional missions and platforms, including ballistic missile defense, hostile ground fire detection and unmanned aircraft operations.
Northrop Grumman Corporation recently demonstrated the ballistic missile detection, tracking and targeting capabilities of the company’s AN/AAQ-37 distributed aperture system (DAS) and AN/APG-81 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, both of which are featured on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft. Northrop Grumman’s DAS and APG-81 autonomously detected, tracked and targeted multiple, simultaneous ballistic rockets. The DAS autonomously detected all five rockets, launched in rapid succession, and tracked them from initial launch well past the second stage burnout.
Delivery of more than 3,000 DAS sensors highlights Northrop Grumman’s 14-year commitment to quality, performance and innovation of this first-of-its-kind technology.
Northrop Grumman will continue to produce, sustain, maintain and improve the DAS system for years to come. Originally designed in Baltimore and assembled in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, DAS manufacturing now includes international participation from Australia, Denmark and Japan.