Israel, U.S. Agree To $450 Million In F-35 EW Work
By Eshel David, David Fulghum
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology
“Our vision is to enable developers to bring their sensors and application software, designed to run on our generic hardware. This will save platform resources and reduce the cost of integration and testing,” says the IAF's head of avionics. The service is planning to introduce this concept through all its current and future fighters, transport aircraft, helicopters and UAVs, which will be the most challenging task due to limited space and power availability. Besides higher processing power and memory capacity, the IMA will also minimize overload of core avionics in current aircraft. Among the assets the IAF is eyeing for the new approach aree software-defined radios, information fusion and mission planning.
While the IAF developed the IMA as a cost-effective method to upgrade existing platforms, it could offer a way to introduce new capabilities to the F-35 as well, without interfering with its complex core avionics. Including only the GPP IMA as part of the common hardware could offer significant advantages to users, enabling third-party application developers to innovate and introduce new capabilities to the aircraft in an “app”-like approach.
State-owned Israel Aerospace Industries is likely to join the EW work and is already poised to start building the aircraft's wings. Elbit Systems' Elisra subsidiary, the leading EW provider for the IAF, is also likely to participate. Elbit, in a joint venture with Rockwell Collins, makes the advanced helmet used by pilots on the single-seat F-35.