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F-35: One Update Could Make This Stealth Fighter Even More Powerful

By National Interest

The U.S. Air Force wants to speed up its transition to using its F-35 stealth fighter jets as part of a large information network during wartime. The service hopes to have each jet act as both an attack platform and a data-transmission and intelligence hub.

The F-35 is well known for its data-gathering, organizing and sharing technologies, and the Air Force’s massive push toward Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) is shifting even more tactical emphasis upon the stealth fighter’s information transmitting systems.

The Air Force’s Director of the F-35 Integration Office, Brig. Gen. David Abba, says JADC2 technology demonstrations and new innovations are inspiring the military services to “reprioritize” software upgrades to the F-35. Abba’s priority, which was referenced in an Air Force Magazine essay, pertains to the upcoming Block 4 software drop with the F-35 which will bring more weapons and networking capacity to the aircraft.

F-35 developers have for many years now been building F-35 capacity through “drops” or software increments intended to expand the plane’s surveillance, attack and computing systems as new technologies emerge.

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