Rapid Radar Refit

Rapid Radar Refit: Northrop Grumman’s proposed Scalable Agile Beam would allow F-16 maintainers to upgrade the fighters with new active electronically scanned array radars directly on the flight line, in as little as a day, said Joe Ensor, company vice president for targeting and ISR. Since SABR uses the same cooling and structural interface as the F-16’s current APG-68 mechanically scanned radar, company technicians successfully installed and test flew the first set on an F-16 in three days. The SABR F-16 flew 17 successful test sorties without significant modification during company tests, Ensor said in a briefing at AFA’s Air & Space Conference, Monday. Northrop Grumman is currently competing with Raytheon to supply the AESA radar kits to Lockheed under the Air Force’s F-16 Combat Avionics Programmed Extension Suite program. The Air Force is expected to make its source selection in November, Ensor said. Whichever company’s radar is selected would also be offered to US Foreign Military Sales customers, for potential retrofit to upwards of 1,000 US and allied F-16s, he added.