The USAF to upgrade 72 F-16 with APG-83 SABR AESA Radar


The United States Air Force has contracted Northrop Grumman to supply Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars for its fleet of F-16 fighter jets for $262.3 million.


The radar upgrade aims to extend the operational viability and reliability of the F-16; it gives pilots 5th-generation fighter radar capabilities to detect, counter, and defeat increasingly sophisticated threats. The bandwidth and speed of the Northrop Grumman APG-83 SABR enables the F-16 to identify greater numbers of targets faster, at longer ranges, and in hostile electronic environments; it also features all-weather, high-resolution synthetic aperture radar (SAR) mapping, which presents the pilot with a large surface image for greater precision in targeting and striking.

“Northrop Grumman has been awarded a $262.3 million modification (P00027) to contract for AESA radars of Air Force F-16 aircraft. This modification is for the exercise of options to include 15 engineering, manufacturing and development and 90 production radars, as well as associated support equipment and spares,” the US Department of Defense said in a statement Friday.

The company had won $1 billion in December 2019 to work on F-16 radar systems. The contract funds development and production of up to 372 AESA radars. These radars are computer-controlled antennae in which the beam of radio waves can be steered to point in different directions without physically moving the antenna.

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