F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office

Das Distributed Aperture System

The only 360 degree, spherical situational awareness system. The F-35 DAS provides spherical situational awareness. The DAS surrounds the aircraft with a protective sphere of situational awareness. It warns the pilot of incoming aircraft and missile threats as well as providing day/night vision, fire control capability and precision tracking of wingmen/friendly aircraft for increased tactical maneuvering.

Designated the AN/AAQ-37 and comprising six electro-optical sensors, the full EO DAS will enhance the F-35’s survivability and operational effectiveness by warning the pilot of incoming aircraft and missile threats, providing day/night vision and supporting the navigation function of the F-35 Lightning II’s forward-looking infrared sensor.

The DAS provides:

  • Missile detection and tracking
  • Launch point detection
  • Situational awareness Infrared Search and Track System (IRST) & cueing
  • Weapons support
  • Day/night navigation

In addition to DAS, F-35 also has advanced electronically scanned array (AESA) fire-control radar. The AESA radar is designed to enable the pilot to effectively engage air and ground targets at long range, while also providing outstanding situational awareness.​