The US Department of Defence wants full DEAD / SEAD capabilities in F35A
Defence Redefined
Published on 09/06/2020 at 19:29
The US Department of Defense (DoD) has signed an agreement to add the potential of complete destruction / suppression of enemy air defence (DEAD / SEAD) by the F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). The aforementioned upgrade was announced by Lockheed Martin on June 1.

The cost is $36.78 million for the development and certification of the modifications that will make fighter jets F35A (Lot) 14 and 15 of the United States Air Force (USAF) (as well as other aircraft users) fully capable of undertaking such operations.

DEAD / SEAD missions are one of the fundamental operations that this aircraft is required to perform in addition to its other capabilities.

The USAF announced the initial operational capability (IOC) of the F-35A in August 2016, during which it was reported that the aircraft was able to conduct “limited” DEAD / SEAD missions. However, it was not specified exactly what “limited” meant.

Most likely, it involved the execution of operational missions using the basic weapons package released at the time, which included GBU-31/32 1,000 lb / 2,000 lb Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs). Since then, the Block 3F software package has included the GBU-39 small diameter bomb (SDB) and AGM-154A / C Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW) glide bomb, which can also be used.

For A2 / AD (anti-access / area denial) operations, the aircraft will be equipped with the Stand-in Attack Weapon (SiAW), being currently developed, which will greatly utilize Northrop Grumman’s advanced AGM-88E anti-radiation missile (ARM).




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