The Distributed Aperture System (DAS) developed for the F-35 Lightning II, has added hostile ground fire detection to its capabilities by successfully detecting and locating tanks that were firing live rounds during preparations for a military exercise. System developer Northrop Grumman reports.
While being flown on’s BAC 1-11 test aircraft, the DAS detected and located tank fire from an “operationally significant distance”. In addition to artillery, the system is able to simultaneously detect and pinpoint the location of rockets and anti-aircraft artillery fired in a wide area.
Although hostile fire detection is not an F-35 requirement for the DAS, the system design makes it useful for this mission. This inherent capability enables DAS to harvest, process and deliver key battlespace information to ground forces and other aircraft autonomously, without the need for cueing or increasing pilot workload. The ability to gather this live fire data expands the mission possibilities of the sensor to include close air support and ground fire targeting.