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Software engineers play leading role in F-35 development

A group of engineers work on an F-35
Hundreds of our expert software engineers have played a leading role in creating software for the F-35 Lightning II aircraft that will be operational with the US Air Force later this year.
The software team at our site in Samlesbury, Lancashire, has worked alongside Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor on the F-35 programme, to deliver the latest update known as ‘Block 3i’. There are more than eight million lines of code required for full operational capability. Block 3i equips the aircraft with 89% of the software code required.
John Brindle, our company's principal engineer for F-35 Lightning II Development, said: “Beginning with Jaguar, BAE Systems has a long history and world-class expertise in developing software for aircraft systems. We have made a significant contribution to 3i, including producing software for the fuel management system, on-board vehicle systems, structural health management and elements of the navigation and cockpit display system.

“This milestone allows us to focus our engineering effort on the final development software which will ultimately deliver full capability for F-35 Lightning II. The delivery of the software will also enable ASRAAM and Paveway IV weapons to be used on the UK’s aircraft.”

Block 3i software on upgraded computer hardware has been proven with more than 1,500 flying hours.

The F-35 Lightning II programme expects to have the fleet of aircraft currently in service with the US Marine Corps upgraded with the new software by the end of the year.

Block 3i is the penultimate software update and is followed by Block 3F on which ongoing work includes data link imagery, full weapons and embedded training capabilities. When Block 3F is delivered the aircraft will have 100% of the software required for full operational capability.
Further information on the F-35 Lightning II can be found here >>