Military Aviation

Air National Guard’s F-16s at Joint Base Andrews now Equipped with AN/APG-83 SABR Radar

The radar upgrade of select Air National Guard F-16s extends the operational viability and reliability of that fleet while providing pilots with 5th-generation fighter radar capabilities to defend U.S. airspace.

The U.S. Air Force (USAF) has completed installation of Northrop Grumman AN/APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) radars on Air National Guard F-16s at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, to meet a U.S. Northern Command Joint Emergent Operational Need (JEON) for homeland defense. This milestone event completes delivery and installation of AN/APG-83 SABR Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars in support of the USAF’s future initial operational capability declaration.

According to the company news release, the radar upgrade of select Air National Guard F-16s extends the operational viability and reliability of that fleet while providing pilots with 5th-generation fighter radar capabilities to defend U.S. airspace.

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“The APG-83 radar provides unprecedented, active electronically scanned array (AESA) targeting and fire control capabilities to the F-16 fleet to ensure the superior effectiveness of the Air National Guard’s mission,” said Mark Rossi, director, SABR programs, Northrop Grumman. “APG-83 was specifically designed to maximize the performance of the F-16 with an affordable and scalable architecture, based upon advancements made through the introduction of Northrop Grumman’s APG-77 AESA for the F-22 Raptor and APG-81 AESA for the F-35 Lightning II.”

The greater bandwidth, speed and agility of the APG-83 enables the F-16 to detect, track and identify a greater number of targets faster and at longer ranges. In addition, it features all-weather, high-resolution synthetic aperture radar mapping to present the pilot with a large surface image for more precise target identification and strike compared to legacy systems.

The SABR program draws components from a mature industry supply base. More than 200 SABR systems have been built at Northrop Grumman’s radar assembly facility in Baltimore for U.S. and international customers.

Photo credit: U.S. Air Force

Gabriele Barison

Gabriele Barison is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Co-Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. He has flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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