Northrop Grumman could provide 450 USAF F-16 fighter aircraft with Next Generation Electronic Warfare suite

Northrop Grumman could provide 450 USAF F-16 fighter aircraft with Next Generation Electronic Warfare suite

By Dario Leone
Jan 13 2021
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This F-16 system is part of a mature product line of electronic warfare capabilities that can be adapted to protect virtually any platform or mission requirement.

The US Air Force (USAF) has chosen Northrop Grumman Corporation to complete the final project efforts to provide the Next Generation Electronic Warfare (NGEW) suite for its F-16 fighter aircraft fleet. This critical capability will protect pilots from the growing danger of radio frequency-guided weapons by detecting, identifying and defeating advanced threat systems. The agreement was issued under SOSSEC Consortium’s Air Force Open System Acquisition Initiative (OSAI) Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) for prototyping. Northrop Grumman will continue to team with non-traditional defense contractors for the execution of this OTA project.

According to Air Force Magazine if development succeeds, could equip as many as 450 Vipers under a program potentially worth $2.5 billion.

“The electronic warfare suite will significantly increase protection to F-16 operators as they execute their missions in increasingly contested environments,” said Ryan Tintner, vice president, navigation, targeting and survivability, Northrop Grumman, in the company news release. “This system draws on the best of our experience from multiple programs to create an effective and affordable solution to keep the Viper relevant throughout its service life.”

The system provides full-spectrum radar warning, threat identification and advanced countermeasure capabilities. It also has proven pulse-to-pulse operability with the F-16’s newly acquired AN/APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR), also built by Northrop Grumman.

The electronic warfare suite leverages an open systems, ultra wideband architecture providing greater instantaneous bandwidth needed to defeat modern threats. This F-16 system is part of a mature product line of electronic warfare capabilities that can be adapted to protect virtually any platform or mission requirement. It shares a common technology baseline with the AC/MC-130J Radio Frequency Countermeasures Program and AN/APR-39 radar warning receivers.

The electronic warfare suite configuration is scalable to meet both US and international partners’ operational needs in either an internal or podded configuration.

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Photo credit: Northrop Grumman


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Dario Leone

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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