Smiths Interconnect to Supply Various Connectivity Solutions for Use in the F-35 aircraft

Smiths Interconnect, a provider of technically differentiated electronic components, subsystems, microwave and radio frequency products has been involved in the military programme for more than 20 years, supplying hundreds of different interconnect devices including high-reliability technologies, from RF components and high-reliability connectors to integrated microwave assemblies.

All military programmes are valuable contracts to secure as they are typically long-term commitments that will generate stable future revenue for the businesses. The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II (previously known as Joint Strike Fighter/JSF) programme falls into this category, dating back to the late 1990s when the need for a 5th Generation aircraft began to evolve.

The F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole combat aircraft that represent a quantum leap in air dominance capabilities. It is the first 5th generation multi-role aircraft to reach service, offering significant updates over previous generation jets. Intended to perform superior air dominance, F-35 are also able to provide electronic warfare and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities. Integration and interoperability between allies have also been key driver in technology development.

Paul Harris, President at Smiths Interconnect commented that they proudly supply different connectivity solutions to different customers that are destined for use in the F-35 aircraft. Their 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.

Connectivity solutions for the F-35 aircraft include:

High power circulators used on Communications, Navigation, Identification (CNI) systems and integrated microwave assemblies used on Electronic Warfare (EW) systems, 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 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.