Sunday, 11 June 2017

Air National Guard (ANG) F-16s get new radars

US Air Force awards Northrop Grumman ANG F-16 radar upgrade contract

Pat Host, Washington, DC - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
09 June 2017

Key Points
  • US Air Force awards Northrop Grumman to upgrade ANG F-16 radars
  • Could be precursor for future active USAF F-16 radar upgrades
The US Air Force (USAF) on 31 May awarded Northrop Grumman a USD244 million contract to upgrade Air National Guard (ANG) F-16s with new radars.

The contract is predominantly fixed-price with cost-plus-fixed-fee and fixed-price incentive portions, according to a Pentagon statement. Northrop Grumman will provide 72 of its active electronically scanned array (AESA) APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam Radars (SABR) as well as spares and support services. Work is expected to complete by 31 January 2019.

The contract award was the result of a competitive acquisition with one offer received. Raytheon has its own AESA fighter aircraft radar called Raytheon Advanced Combat Radar (RACR) that has an international customer in South Korea, but it did not bid for the USAF ANG contract. Company spokesperson Michael Doble told Jane's on 8 June after evaluating the ANG's acquisition strategy, Raytheon determined it was not in its best interest to submit a bid.

Northrop Grumman said the greater bandwidth, speed, and agility of its APG-83 SABR enables the F-16 to detect, track, and identify greater numbers of targets faster and at longer ranges. In addition, the company said its SABR can operate in hostile electronic environments and features all-weather, high-resolution synthetic aperture radar mapping, which presents the pilot with a large surface image enabling precision target identification and strike.

The SABR is the base radar for Lockheed Martin's F-16 Block 70. The company began delivering production of APG-83 SABR for its first international customer on schedule at the end of 2016. Northrop Grumman spokesperson Scott Cahoon on 8 June declined to reveal the international customer.

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