Lockheed Martin has carried out the first test flight of the F-35 EOTS (Electro-Optical Targeting System) on the CATBird (Cooperative Avionics Test Bed) platform successfully. The maturation of the EOTS on the CATBird platform is the final step for integrating the system with the BF-4, which is the first F-35 test aircraft equipped with mission systems.
The CATBird features test stations and a real F-35 cockpit to execute real-time analysis during mission systems evaluation. It also has the potential to combine sensor information that shows how the integrated sensor architecture of F35 provides high quality sensor information to the pilots, when compared to the federated sensor architectures of the legacy platforms. Operating in integrated mode, the EOTS gathered aircraft navigation data during the Block 1.0 software test.
The F-35 EOTS builds on the success of the Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod of Lockheed Martin, to offer laser spot tracking, laser range finding and designation, infrared-search-and-track, automatic target tracking, and high-resolution imagery.
F-35 EOTS’ Program Director, Rich Hinkle, stated that the dynamic flight environment of the CATBird offers the opportunity to evaluate and test how EOTS amalgamates into the fused sensor architecture of F-35.