Home Americas US Navy receives final JPALS carrier landing system

US Navy receives final JPALS carrier landing system

JPALS in action
An F-35C Lightning II makes an arrested gear landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz. Photo: US Navy

The US Navy received the final Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (JPALS) unit on March 16, marking another on-time or ahead of schedule delivery for increased capability at sea.

JPALS is a ship-relative GPS-based system that provides aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships with precision approach and landing capability, surveillance, and over-the-air inertial alignment in all weather and mission environments.

“This is a significant milestone for the JPALS team, and highlights the incredible efforts of hundreds of our teammates over the past decade who developed and now have fully delivered these critical systems that our Warfighters and International Partners need,” said Capt. Kevin Watkins, Naval Air Traffic Management Systems (PMA-213) program manager. “This team overcame many barriers over the past several years, successfully achieving the required outcome to deliver all of the capabilities needed, on time and affordably.”

JPALS is currently being deployed on all US Navy aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships, and is on the United Kingdom Royal Navy’s HMS Queen Elizabeth and the Italian Navy’s ITS Cavour.

Japan became the third foreign military sale customer in December and is scheduled to be deployed on the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s JS Izumo in 2024.

JPALS has been supporting F-35B deployments on US Navy LH-class amphibious assault ships since 2016 and F-35C deployments on US Navy aircraft carriers since 2021. Initial operational capability was reached in May 2021 with full operational capability scheduled for fiscal year 2026.