SABR Rattling

Northrop Grumman radar officials anticipate that the Air Force will move out in the next year or so to acquire an advanced electronically scanned array radar system for up to several hundred F-16s that are being considered for a structural service-life extension upgrade. “This makes good sense; this is something that you or I as taxpayers would say is a good use of resources,” said David Wallace, head of Northrop’s F-16 program development, Monday at the Air Force Association’s Air & Space Conference in National Harbor, Md. Wallace discussed Northrop’s Scaleable Agile Beam Radar, an AESA system that leverages company investments in aircraft radars such as the F-35’s APG-81. Last November the Air Force conducted “17 very successful sorties” with a SABR-equipped F-16 at Edwards AFB, Calif., he said. The company continues to test SABR in a test aircraft that has an anatomically correct F-16 nose. Raytheon is also offering AESA options for the F-16.