Northrop Grumman Touts Big SAR Feature on F-16 Radar

Northrop Grumman’s Scalable Agile Beam Radar, designed for the F-16, would provide pilots with high-resolution radar imagery with its “Big SAR” synthetic aperture radar mapping feature, said Joe Ensor, company vice president for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance and targeting on Tuesday. Big SAR delivers imagery that covers a square mile—”an unprecedented level” of situational awareness—and offers auto target recognition and cueing, a capability never before in the F-16, he told reporters at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on April 16. Northrop Grumman is competing against Raytheon to supply AESA radars for up to 300 Air Force F-16 Block 40 and Block 50 airplanes as part of the F-16 Combat Avionics Programmed Extension Suite program. Ensor said he anticipates F-16 prime contractor Lockheed Martin to select the AESA provider by around August. He said SABR has more than 200 flight hours. (See also Rapid Radar Fit and South Korea Picks Raytheon’s AESA Radar for its F-16s.)