U.S diversified manufacturer Raytheon recently conducted a rapid set up demonstration of a land-based expeditionary version of its precision landing system to a group of global military officials at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD.
It’s called the Expeditionary Joint Precision Approach and Landing System, or Expeditionary JPALS for short.
JPALS is a differential, GPS-based, precision landing system that currently guides aircraft onto carriers and amphibious assault ships in all kinds of weather and surface conditions, up to the rough waters of Sea State 5. It uses an encrypted, jam-proof data link, connecting to software on the aircraft’s mission computer and an array of GPS sensors, mast-mounted antennas and rack-mounted shipboard avionics.
Additionally, unlike traditional, radar-based landing systems, JPALS doesn’t emit a radar signal, allowing for much improved location security. JPALS can even help Air Force pilots land in zero/zero conditions — zero visibility, zero ceiling.
“The entire system was fully operational in 70 minutes on Day One and 50 minutes on Day Two,” said Matt Gilligan, vice president at Raytheon’s Intelligence, Information and Services business. “Raytheon is offering the U.S. and its allies fast and accurate precision landing systems that support operations from bare-base locations.”
During the demonstration, military officials from all four services, as well as representatives from Japan, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, and Italy, watched multiple F-35Cs land on the same designated runway landing point every time over the course of six different approaches.
This was the second proof-of-concept event in 2019 showing how F-35s can use a reconfigured mobile version of JPALS to support landings in austere environments.
Raytheon’s F-35 precision landing system can be set up anywhere in less than 1.5 hours pic.twitter.com/sxC7mU8VoO
— Dylan Malyasov (@DylanMalyasov) September 17, 2019