Northrop Grumman announced on July 29 that it delivered its 100th avionics system for the F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft.

The electronics are called the AN/ASQ-242 communications, navigation and identification system. The system performs roughly 27 different functions.

Northrop Grumman delivered the electronics to Lockheed Martin, prime contractor for the F-35. The electronics builder has 270 people working on the project at its Rancho Carmel office complex.

Other Northrop Grumman businesses supply components for the aircraft program. The company builds F-35 center fuselages in Palmdale. It delivered fuselage No. 115 — the first fuselage for the Italian program — to an Italian air base earlier this month.

Lockheed Martin is building the F-35 for the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy, a number of NATO countries and a few customers outside the NATO alliance. The Marines are expected to be the first to put the aircraft into service, reaching initial operating capability in 2015.

When Northrop Grumman predecessor TRW got the avionics project in 2001, it predicted it could be worth $4 billion or more to the company over the life of the program, excluding foreign military sales.

— SDBJ Staff Report