Radar Pod for F-15E Disclosed

The Air Force has lifted the veil on a heretofore classified radar pod that it fielded on the F-15E in June 2009. Designated the AN/ASQ-236, the Northrop Grumman-supplied pod is meant to bolster US all-weather, precision geo-location capabilities and overhead surveillance and reconnaissance support to ground troops, according to a service release. Its synthetic aperture radar “provides detailed maps for surveillance, coordinate generation, and bomb impact assessment purposes,” reads USAF’s newly issued AN/ASQ-236 fact sheet. The pod’s development started back in the late 1990s, leveraging technology associated with the F-22. Information concerning the design, development, and production of the pod remains classified as does the inventory size. Maj. Brian Barker of the Air Armament Center at Eglin AFB, Fla., told the Daily Report Wednesday that the pod is not regarded as an interim solution until F-15Es are fitted with an active electronically scanned array radar. (AESAs are capable of SAR mapping when coupled with the right software.) Rather, the pod serves a separate and distinct function, he said through a spokesman.