SABR Fits, Flight Tests Later This Year

Northrop Grumman has just completed a fit test for its new Scalable Agile Beam Radar, installing it aboard an F-16 at Edwards AFB, Calif., according to a July 23 company release. Northrop has been flying SABR aboard its own test aircraft since November 2008. Last fall, Dave Wallace, Northrop’s manager of F-16 Sensor Program Development, said the company was using its own funds to develop the new active electronically scanned array sensor in anticipation that the Air Force and international F-16 operators would still by flying the F-16 for at least 10 more years and would need a new AESA radar to help bridge the gap to arrival of the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Arlene Camp, director of Northrop’s advanced F-16 radar programs, said in the company release that the fit-check “is another important milestone leading up to a planned F-16 flight demonstration later this year.” The actual installation process, she said, “took less than five hours and assessed SABR’s design goals to integrate seamlessly within existing F-16 Block 50/52 physical constraints for interface to aircraft power, cooling, and avionics.” She added that Northrop has “continually improved the F-16’s radar performance and reliability” for more than 30 years.