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JPALS reaches IOC milestone

20th May 2021 - 11:41 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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F-35C aboard USS Carl Vinson. (Photo: USN)

USN can now provide precision landing for carrier-borne aircraft.

US Naval Air Systems Command on 18 May announced that the Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (JPALS) has reached IOC.

JPALS is therefore ready to provide precision approach and landing capabilities to carrier aircraft at sea in support of naval aviation operations worldwide, it added.

The USN declared IOC on 4 May after the successful installation, integration and flight certification of the first JPALS production unit aboard USS Carl Vinson in December 2020. 

Raytheon began JPALS system development and testing activities with the USN in 2008. It is a GPS-based system integrated with shipboard air traffic control to guide aircraft for precision deck landings in all weather and surface conditions.

After the flight certification on Carl Vinson, the JPALS team continued working with the USN test community ‘to demonstrate that the F-35C could effectively conduct at-sea precision approaches to the flight deck,’ the USN stated.

JPALS has also supported F-35B deployments on USN amphibious assault ships with an early operational capability since 2016. It will also provide an all-weather, precision navigation, approach and landing capability for operations with the MQ-25A Stingray aboard nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.

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