Lockheed Martin has delivered the first production units of its new F-35 Lightning II Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS) to the Fort Worth, Texas, facility where the fifth-generation fighter is being built for integration onto the aircraft.
Embedded into the F-35’s fuselage with an innovative faceted sapphire window, the low-drag, stealthy EOTS is the world’s first and only sensor combining forward-looking infrared and infrared search and track functionality.
The F-35 EOTS will provide Lightning II pilots with significant air-to-air and air-to-ground situational awareness in a single compact and completely passive sensor.
"Our team looks forward to meeting its commitment to provide a superior targeting system to F-35 pilots around the world as we gear up to produce more than 3,000 units," said Rich Hinkle, program director of F-35 Lightning II EOTS at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "This delivery marks a pivotal achievement for the EOTS as we transition from a system design and development program to a production program."
The F-35 EOTS production is ramping up to produce up to 200 units a year. "The outlook for the F-35 program is very strong," Hinkle said. "Our success in supporting the program is vital to the F-35’s mission to provide dominant airpower across the full air-to-air, air-to-ground mission spectrum."
The latest generation infrared sensor technology, the F-35 EOTS builds upon the success of Lockheed Martin’s Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod to provide high-resolution imagery, automatic target tracking, infrared-search-and-track, laser designation and range finding, as well as laser spot tracking-all at greatly increased standoff ranges. Modular components allow the F-35 EOTS to be maintained on the flight line for true two-level maintenance.