The Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS) for the F-35 Lightning II is an affordable, high-performance, lightweight, multi-function system that provides precision air-to-air and air-to-surface targeting capability. The low-drag, stealthy EOTS is integrated into the F-35 Lightning II's fuselage with a durable sapphire window and is linked to the aircraft's integrated central computer through a high-speed fiber-optic interface.
As the first sensor to combine forward-looking infrared and infrared search and track functionality, EOTS enhances F-35 pilots’ situational awareness and allows aircrews to identify areas of interest, perform reconnaissance and precisely deliver laser and GPS-guided weapons. Lockheed Martin has delivered more than 700 systems for the F-35 Lightning II.
Advanced EOTS, an evolutionary electro-optical targeting system, is available for the F-35’s Block 4 development. Designed to replace EOTS, Advanced EOTS incorporates a wide range of enhancements and upgrades, including short-wave infrared, high-definition television, an infrared marker and improved image detector resolution. These enhancements increase F-35 pilots’ recognition and detection ranges, enabling greater overall targeting performance.
F-35 EOTS in Action
EOTS Q&A (Updates as of November 1, 2020)
Q1: What is the current status of the EOTS program?
A1: We are currently executing high rate production for Lots 13-17. To date, we have delivered more than 700 systems. We continue to develop capabilities and workload reductions through current contracts and investments. At present, we are working under a Performance Based Logistics contract to continuously improve the affordability of the fielded EOTS sensor.
Q2: What are recent accomplishments the program has achieved?
A2: The team just delivered the 700th EOTS sensor system. Recently, the team announced a significant reduction in cost per flight hour, achieving a 25 percent savings for the sustainment of the F-35 targeting system. The team has achieved a 15 percent reduction in repair turnaround times as a part of the savings. With a 96 percent reduction in Mission Impaired Capability Awaiting Parts (MICAPs), operational squadrons are mission ready when it matters most.
Q3: Are there any major milestone coming up on the program?
A3: In 2021, we will complete Lot 13 of EOTS and anticipate the delivery of the 850th sensor system.
Q4: What are the international opportunities on the program?
A4: Outside the continental United States (OCONUS), opportunities for F-35 EOTS maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade (MRO&U) capabilities are being assessed based on demand. EOTS will continue to be included in all F-35 sales.
Q5: What is Advanced EOTS?
A5: Advanced EOTS is an evolutionary electro-optical targeting system for the F-35. Designed to replace EOTS, the F-35’s current electro-optical targeting system, Advanced EOTS incorporates a wide range of enhancements and upgrades, including short-wave infrared, high-definition television, an infrared marker and improved image detector resolution. These enhancements increase F-35 pilots’ recognition and detection ranges, enabling greater overall targeting performance.
EOTS continues to meet all requirements currently set forth by the Joint Program Office and Services and provides essential targeting capability to F-35 pilots. As you know, threats to our warfighters continue to evolve, and we’ve invested to develop advanced technology to combat those threats. Our investment in Advanced EOTS is consistent with the timeline set forth by the F-35 Joint Program Office.