According to the media, the aircraft is equipped with an effective system of distributed aperture sensors installed on the aircraft. The purpose of this test is to detect and track ballistic missiles.
For several years, Northrop has been testing this embedded system on fighter jets of this type to analyze its ballistic missile detection and tracking capabilities. The company has developed unique sophisticated tools for the F-35.
This is for example the system of sensors with distributed apertures, more precisely extremely sensitive sensors capable of giving the pilot information on what is happening 360 degrees around his fighter. To detect the missile approach, the DAS system uses automated computer algorithms.
” SAR is just as effective on an F-35 or other aircraft as it is on the ground or on a ship. In this case, two DAS sensors, one in the air and the other on the ground, are able to detect ballistic missiles separately “
Although the first tests were conducted in 2014, it is now after all these years of analysis and testing that Northrop has confirmed that the F-35 fighter aircraft is capable of carrying a SAR to detect and to follow missiles.