Military Aviation

USAF TO PROCURE 72 AESA RADARS FOR ITS F-16s

Eight AESA radars will be retrofitted to F-16s assigned to the Oklahoma Air National Guard at Tulsa.

The U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base has awarded a $243.9 million contract to Northrop Grumman for 72 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars.

Eight radars will be retrofitted to F-16s assigned to the Oklahoma Air National Guard at Tulsa.

As reported by NewsOn6.com the announcement was made by Oklahoma Congressman Jim Brindenstine who explained that the new Active Electronically Steered Array [AESA] radar will enable smaller target detection, greater targeting range and the ability to engage multiple targets.

“This considerably enhances the capability of Tulsa’s F-16s, allowing for targeting at extended ranges to improve lethality against our enemies and survivability for ourselves. I have proposed increased spending for these systems in the current National Defense Authorization Act,” said Congressman Bridenstine.

The Air Force contract is with Northrop Grumman for 72 AESA radars, spares and support services. Delivery of the first radar is expected to be in December 2018.

Noteworthy as we have already explained in a previous article the U.S. Air Force (USAF) has already installed the Northrop Grumman APG-83 AESA radar on its own F-16. The APG-83 AESA radar not only will replace currently used APG-66 and APG-68 radars, but will also provide the F-16 with advanced capabilities similar to fifth-generation fighters like the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II. Furthermore the radar has the ability to operate in dense electronic environments, simultaneous multi-mode operations and enhanced system availability through increased reliability, maintainability and supportability.

Photo credit: Bobbi Zapka / U.S. Air Force

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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