The US Air Force is conducting electromagnetic environmental effects testing (known as E3 or Triple E) on the F-35A fighter jet. The testing has been taking place at the Benefield Anechoic Facility (BAF) at Edwards Air Force Base in California, USA, since mid-September.
“We’re testing the different electronic components on the jet and making sure they don’t interfere with each other,” said Jeff Farren, Joint Strike Fighter lead E3 test engineer. “When you’re up there flying, you don’t want your radar to cut off your communications systems.”
The testing will allow the Joint Strike Force (JSF) program office to sign off on verification on military electromagnetic standards, which are a requirement to begin initial operational capability testing of the F-35A, with its Block 3i software and final use of the software.
Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps F-35 variants each use a unique block of software, which has to be tested.
The Benefield Anechoic Facility features radar absorbent material to simulate a clean RF environment and was modified for the F-35A tests.
The BAF test team has about 70 members, including maintainers and F-35 cockpit operators. The cockpit operators are not pilots, but JSF test engineers who sit in the aircraft for most of the testing to operate the aircraft systems.
November 20, 2015