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Google Map of Northrops BAC 1-11 Avionics Testbed at Baltimore airport

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Lockheed Martin recently began modifying a Northrop Grumman-owned BAC 1-11 aircraft to prepare it for the Joint Strike Flight (JSF) flight test program in which it will serve as a flying test bed for prototype multisensor JSF avionics. Integrating the avionics systems on a flying test bed will reduce the need for sensor flights during the engineering and manufacturing development phase of the program.

Flight testing the Lockheed Martin prototype JSF active electronically scanned array (AESA) on the BAC 1-11 will begin in the fourth quarter of 1999. The tests will demonstrate its all-weather, air-to-air, and air-to-ground capabilities in urban and simulated-threat environments. Other JSF sensors and systems to be flight tested on the BAC 1-11 include a long-based interferrometer from Lockheed Sanders/Litton; an electro-optic targeting set from Lockheed Martin Electronics & Missiles; a distributed aperture infrared system from Northrop Grumman's Electronic Sensors and Systems Sector; and a registration/geolocation product from Harris.

Following testing, the BAC 1-11 will be flown from Northrop Grumman's Electronic Sensors and Systems Sector in Baltimore, MD, to Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems in Fort Worth, TX, where it will be used to test the ability to data link information in-flight with the JSF ground-based avionics integration laboratory. This will allow the JSF team to demonstrate low-risk engineering and manufacturing development avionics integration.

Northrop Grumman owns two BAC 1-11s manufactured by British Aerospace. These aircraft have served as test beds for many developmental programs such as the B-1B, F-16, and F-22 radar, Falcon Knight electro-optical sensor, and the YF-23 avionics.


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