BAE Systems successfully flight tests next-generation vehicle management computer for F-35 Lightning II

BAE Systems’ next-generation vehicle management computer was successfully flight-tested on the F-35 Lighting II fighter. The test demonstrated a technology upgrade for all three F-35 variants that will increase computer performance and address obsolescence issues. Testing occurred at Naval Air Station Patuxent and Edwards Air Force Base.

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BAE Systems successfully flight tests next generation vehicle management computer for F 35 Lightning II 1   An F-35B Lightning II short takeoff vertical landing (STOVL) variant fighter aircraft from the Patuxent River F-35 Integrated Test Force (ITF) flown by Dan Levin, test pilot, makes an approach to land at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., Feb. 11, 2022 (Picture source: U.S. DoD/Kyra Helwick)

BAE Systems’ Vehicle Management Computer (VMC) enables advanced control modes and improves mission efficiency and safety. Its distributed architecture allows the aircraft to operate reliably with enhanced mission effectiveness in demanding environments. The upgraded VMC will not only help to mitigate obsolescence but will also improve the safety, maintainability, and availability of the aircraft for the U.S. military and its allies.

“The VMC provides the high integrity processing required to implement the advanced control algorithms that enable this platform’s critical missions,” said Corin Beck, director of Military Aircraft Systems for Controls and Avionics Solutions at BAE Systems. “This upgrade leveraged BAE Systems’ technology roadmap to ensure the F-35 will advance its mission management and flight control capabilities today and into the future.”

This technology upgrade incorporates a quad-core advanced processor for both a high-performance and efficient solution. The new level of computing power allows for additional aircraft capabilities while reducing pilot workload. It also adds advanced mission capabilities to the VMC such as the Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (JPALS) and Auto Ground Collision Avoidance System (AGCAS).