F-35 Radar Repair on Autopilot
Pilots flying the F-35 Lightning II will track enemy forces, jam radars and disrupt attacks with unparalleled precision. The F-35 secures the future of air dominance, backed by an avionics testing capability as high tech as the jet itself.
The U.S. Navy’s Fleet Readiness Center Southeast (FRCSE) in Florida recently launched F-35 radar maintenance capability with the Lockheed Martin LM-STAR® automated test system. The LM-STAR integrates complex test instruments, providing a standard automated test environment for F-35 depots and avionics manufacturers, said Gus Brunet, Lockheed Martin’s LM-STAR program manager.
“The LM-STAR test system is a critical sustainment aspect of the F-35 program and ensures pilots have an edge in combat,” Brunet said. “FRCSE depot artisans will use the LM-STAR along with avionics suppliers’ test program sets to conduct fault diagnostics and hardware repair.”
FRCSE serves as the repair hub for the F-35’s active electronically scanned array radar system provided by Northrop Grumman. The F-35’s unique combination of stealth, radar and sensor technology, electronic warfare, and internal weapons equips pilots with the critical advantage of first-look, first-shot, first-kill capability.
In support of the F-35 program, 130 LM-STAR stations are currently fielded across 41 avionics manufacturing locations and two military depots. The LM-STAR is used to test all complex electronic systems on the jet, including the electronic warfare, helmet-mounted display and electro-optical targeting systems.
The LM-STAR provides an affordable test solution that greatly reduces the logistics tail cost. Instead of each avionics supplier using a unique set of test equipment — which would require a unique set of spares, training and logistics support — the LM-STAR provides a common test solution supported by Lockheed Martin’s Performance-Based Logistics program.
“In the sustainment world, we recognize that even highly sophisticated equipment is not mission capable if you can’t support it. That’s what makes the LM-STAR crucial,” Brunet said. “Our integrated industry and government team realizes we’re not just building widgets. Every day, we are helping and supporting the F-35 mission for the United States and our allies.”
The LM-STAR is the standard automated test system for developing and maintaining avionics for the F-35 Lightning II, F-22 Raptor and Eurofighter Typhoon, and it provides significant support for the F-16 Falcon Block 60 and AH-64 Apache.