BAE Systems is highlighting its continued deliveries of the AN/ASQ-239 electronic warfare (EW) and electronic countermeasure system for the Lockheed Martin

[LMT] F-35.

The company said that it has delivered more than 800 AN/ASQ-239 kits so far to provide vital situational awareness and survivability for the F-35.

“This Lot 16 award comes as BAE Systems delivers Lot 14 systems and executes material orders for Lot 15,” BAE Systems said on June 28. “The company is currently producing 18 shipsets a month as it ramps production to more than 20 shipsets a month in 2022 to match F-35 aircraft Low Rate Initial Production.”

The company said that it has reduced the cost of the AN/ASQ-239 by 77 percent since initial production and that the company’s performance based logistics have improved availability of the AN/ASQ-239 by 60 percent.

The BAE Systems announcement comes as the Air Force looks to rejuvenate EW. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown said the Air Force has not modernized EW in the last 20 years because the service has been able to enter conflict areas in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility with no significant threats to aircraft.

The U.S. Air Force on June 25 stood up the 350th Spectrum Warfare Wing (350th SWW) under Air Combat Command (ACC) to focus on offensive EW (Defense Daily, June 25).

Brown said that, while defensive aspects of the electro-magnetic spectrum (EMS) have sufficed against threats from foreign violent extremists, the 350th SWW will be critical in countering the advanced capabilities of Russia and China.

“A first of its kind, the 350th SWW will enable, equip and optimize fielding capabilities to give the U.S. and its allies a sustainable, competitive advantage over adversaries in the EMS,” per ACC. “The new wing will provide maintenance, operational, and technical expertise for electronic warfare in support of the Combat Air Forces.”

The 350th SWW is to consolidate all Air Force EMS efforts and will include the 53rd Electronic Warfare Group now at Eglin AFB.

The establishment of the 350th SWW has been in the works for months. Early this year, Brown said that the Air Force has not focused on EMS and had allowed a reduction of offensive EW since Operation Desert Storm in 1991 (Defense Daily, Jan. 27).

In addition to the F-35, which has an integrated EW suite, DoD’s EW aircraft have been the Navy EA-18G Growler by Boeing [BA] and the Air Force EC-130H Compass Call by Lockheed Martin, and the Air Force plans to field EC-37B Compass Call Re-Host aircraft by BAE Systems. The EC-37B is based on the Gulfstream [GD] G550 business jet.