BAE Systems and MBDA have secured additional funding to complete the development and integration of next-generation weapons capabilities on the British and Italian F-35 fleets.
This builds on the successful integration work that began in 2019 by BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin and MBDA to upgrade the British F-35 weapon systems.
The award will see industry teams complete activities to integrate the precision surface attack weapon SPEAR onto the British F-35s, with the next-generation missile enhancing the UK’s future combat air capability. United thanks to its multi-effects, high load and compatible with the network. capabilities with extended reach. This will further enhance the UK Lightning Force’s ability to defeat difficult targets such as long-range mobile air defense systems at distances above the horizon in all weather conditions and in highly contested environments.
âAdvanced weapon systems, such as Meteor and SPEAR, will provide the British and Italian armed forces with an operational advantage,â said Tom Fillingham, senior vice president, US Programs, Airline, BAE Systems. Our highly qualified engineers have a crucial role to play. role throughout the F-35 program and as part of this integration activity, and we look forward to continuing to work alongside our partners as it progresses. ”
The funding will also see the remainder of the air-to-air missile integration beyond the visual range of MBDA on the F-35A and F-35B jets for the British and Italian armed forces. Meteor’s networking and range capability is perfectly matched to the F-35’s sensor suite to deliver unmatched capabilities in the battlespace.
A team of engineers from BAE Systems, MBDA and Lockheed Martin will now begin testing, simulation and integration activities in the UK and US, to achieve initial operational capability of both weapons.
âWe are delighted that work continues at a rapid pace to provide Meteor and SPEAR capabilities to the F-35; it is also a positive step for the entire F-35 company as it adds a choice of additional capabilities for all international customers on several variants of the aircraft, âsaid Paul Mead, director of business development for the F-35. group, MBDA. The MBDA integration team has worked well with our colleagues at BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin to date and we plan to build on this excellent foundation going forward for this key follow-up modernization work.
More than 80 employees across the UK will carry out weapons integration work for the UK and Italian F-35 fleets, with the F-35 program supporting over 20,000 UK jobs across the UK. development, production, integration and sustaining of the global program.