The F-35’s Distributed Aperture System (DAS) is a revolutionary technology that provides the pilot with 360-degree awareness of the operational environment through an array of sensors.
The DAS system basically “wraps” the aircraft, detecting incoming aircraft and threats, day and night, and allowing the pilot to take measures according to the operational situation.
The AN/AAQ-37, which consists of six electro-optical sensors, is the complete DAS available on the F-35.
The detection capabilities of the system were tested in military exercises in 2011, demonstrating its ability to detect and track ballistic missiles at ranges of more than 800 miles (1,300 km).
The system can also track many small sub-orbital missiles, making it a crucial tool in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) operations.
With the recent entry of the F-35 into the Hellenic Air Force’s arsenal, it is now possible to conduct ISR operations over enemy continental structures with relative safety. This advanced technology also enables pinpoint attacks on enemy ground positions with long-range weapons.
Data transfer also takes place via the internal Data-Link, providing secure and efficient communication.
The F-35 is also capable of carrying out air-to-air (A2A) strikes on targets that will not be aware of its presence, as demonstrated in US “Red-Flag” exercises.
The aircraft can also cooperate with other fighter jets, such as the F-16Vs and RAFALE F3R, through data link technologies, including Link16.
The RAFALE F3R’s powerful radar will provide additional support to the Greek F-35s, while the F-16s can leverage their current arsenal of AIM-120 C7s and future AIM-120D3s.
The entry of the F-35 into the Greek Armed Forces arsenal will bring air superiority one step closer
The ability to detect and track missiles at long ranges, as well as launch surprise air-to-air missile strikes on aerial targets, gives the Hellenic Air Force a significant advantage on the battlefield. As technology continues to advance, air superiority will play an even greater role in military operations.
The F-35’s DAS represents a major technological leap forward for the Hellenic Air Force, enabling improved ISR and target identification functions, as well as improved communication and cooperation with other combat aircraft.
In conclusion, the F-35’s DAS is a game-changing technology that provides the pilot with unmatched situational awareness and combat capabilities. Its impact will be felt in military operations for decades to come.
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