Lockheed Martin has selected Harris Corporation to develop and deliver the next generation Integrated Core Processor (ICP) for the F-35 fighter jet. The Lockheed Martin-led competition within the F-35 supply chain will significantly reduce cost and enhance capability, according to the company.
The F-35’s ICP acts as the brains of the F-35, processing data for the aircraft’s communications, sensors, electronic warfare, guidance and control, cockpit and helmet displays. The cost of the ICP will be reduced by about 75 percent, according to Lockheed.
“We are aggressively pursuing cost reduction across the F-35 enterprise and, after conducting a thorough review and robust competition, we’re confident the next generation Integrated Core Processor will reduce costs and deliver transformational capabilities for the warfighter,” said Greg Ulmer, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager of the F-35 program. “The next generation Integrated Core Processor for the F-35 will have positive benefits for all customers in terms of life cycle cost, capability, reliability and more.”
The new Integrated Core Processor is a key element of the planned “Technology Refresh 3” modernization that takes advantage of fast evolving computing power to ensure the advanced F-35 remains ahead of evolving threats. Additional elements in the tech refresh include the Panoramic Cockpit Display Electronic Unit and Aircraft Memory System, which were also recompeted and awarded to Harris last year.
The Harris-built ICP will be integrated into F-35 aircraft starting with Lot 15 aircraft, expected to begin deliveries in 2023. The next generation ICP system is targeted to generate the following results compared to the current system:
Along with the 75 percent reduction in unit cost, the next generation ICP will have
25 times increase in computing power to support planned capability enhancements, greater software stability, higher reliability, and increased diagnostics resulting in lower sustainment costs and an Open System Architecture to enable the flexibility to add, upgrade and update future capabilities.
“The new F-35 ICP will pave the way for system scalability well into the future,” said Ed Zoiss, president, Harris Electronic Systems. “Open systems are the future of avionics and Harris has invested substantial R&D to deliver more affordable and higher performance solutions than would have been possible using proprietary technology.”