USAF’s 416 FLTS conducts in-flight testing of APG-83A radar on F-16 aircraft


The US Air Force’s (USAF) 416th Flight Test Squadron (FLTS) is conducting in-flight testing of the APG-83A scalable agile beam radar (SABR) installed onboard the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft.

The new radar is being integrated to improve the warfighting capabilities of the F-16, as part of the USAF's F-16 Radar Modernization Program (RMP).

The Northrop Grumman-built APG-83A active electronically scanned array fire control radar is intended to replace the aircraft's existing APG-66 and APG-68 radars.

416th FLTS commander lieutenant colonel Chris Keithley said: “The APG-83 will be a form, fit and function modification that will operate within existing space, power and cooling capabilities of the platform.”

The APG-83 is capable of operating in dense electronic environments, simultaneous multi-mode operations and enhanced system availability through increased reliability, maintainability and supportability, the USAF stated.

The radar will allow F-16 to counter increasingly sophisticated and technological threats with increased bandwidth that would allow the aircraft to detect, track and identify greater numbers of targets faster, and at greater distances.

416 FLTS project lead Michael Powell said: “With the modernisation comes increased capabilities.

"The APG-83 will be a form, fit and function modification that will operate within existing space, power and cooling capabilities of the platform."

“It is a more modern and stable radar.”

As part of the F-16 RMP, several ground and flight tests were performed with the APG-83 in the past two years.

Data collected from the tests will be used by the air force to determine if the radar can be implemented operationally in the future.


Image: Two F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 416th Flight Test Squadron during a test sortie. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force photo by Christopher Okula.