The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II programme falls into this category, dating back to the late 1990s when the need for a 5th Generation aircraft began to evolve.
Smiths Interconnect has been involved in the programme for more than 20 years, supplying hundreds of different interconnect devices including high reliability technologies, from RF components and high-speed/power/density/filtered connectors to integrated microwave assemblies.
“We proudly supply different connectivity solutions to different customers that are destined for use in the F-35 aircraft,” said Paul Harris, President at Smiths Interconnect. “Our products and technologies are renowned to ensure the performance, reliability, safety and productivity that are paramount in this most advanced multi-role fighter in the world”.
Smiths Interconnect’s connectivity solutions for the F-35 aircraft include:
High power circulators embedding used on the Communications, Navigation, and Identification (CNI) system and integrated microwave assemblies used on the Electronic Warfare (EW) system, both embedding TRAK technology
Power connectors with Hypertac hyperboloid contacts used on aircraft power systems
Custom interposers with IDI spring probes used on the radar system
High reliability attenuators with EMC technology also used on the radar system
Discrete filters embedding Lorch technology and used on the CNI system
EMI/EMP filtered connectors with Sabritec technology used in power distribution, power panels and battery chargers
In addition to the above, Reflex Photonics, which was recently acquired by Smiths Interconnect and complements its product offering with the addition of core fibre optic capabilities, is developing optical transceivers for use in the programme.