Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II and and the Aegis weapon system worked together for the first time during a live-fire exercise.
The joint exercise Monday between the company, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps was the first live-fire missile test that demonstrated the integration of the F-35 to support Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air.
During the test on Monday, an unmodified Marine Corps F-35B acted as an elevated sensor and detected an over-the-horizon threat, the company announced Tuesday.
The F-35B sent data through the aircraft's Multi-Function Advanced Data Link to a ground station connected to Aegis on the USS Desert Ship, a land-based ship.
The target was then engaged and intercepted with a Standard Missile 6. The test reflects how the 5th-generation fighter can be a force multiplier.
When the capability is fully realized, it will increase situational awareness using Aegis and the F-35 together to better understand the maritime operational environment.
Using any variant of the F-35 as a broad area sensor, the aircraft can significantly increase the Aegis capability to detect, track and engage.
Aegis Baseline 9 delivers a fully open architecture system on US destroyers and is the basis for current and future Aegis Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD).
Baseline 9 is being fielded on in-service destroyers, new construction destroyers and Aegis Ashore. The Aegis Common Source Library-enabled derivatives are on the Coast Guard cutters, Freedom variant Littoral Combat Ships and will be included on the upcoming frigate ships.
The F-35 Lightning II is a next generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, advanced mission systems, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and sustainment.