The scalable agile beam radar (SABR) equipped F-16 fighter aircraft has been successfully tested in the demonstration flights conducted by Northrop Grumman in cooperation with the US Air Force in support of an F-16 active electronically scanned array (AESA) feasibility study.
Northrop Grumman’s electronic systems advanced F-16 radar programme director Arlene Camp said this was the first time a retrofit AESA had ever flown in a legacy F-16 aircraft.
“This demonstration validated our goal of developing an AESA that can be easily installed on the flight line and integrated with existing power and cooling provisions of currently fielded F-16s,” she said.
“With regard to installed performance, SABR’s air-to-air and air-to-ground detection and tracking, and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) mapping performance met or exceeded our predictions.”
SABR is an AESA radar that has been specifically designed for retrofit in current F-16s and other legacy fighter, attack and training aircraft.
The radar will provide the increased performance, multifunctionality and greater reliability inherent in AESA radars, compared with mechanically scanned array radars.
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SABR also provides improved situational awareness, greater detection, high-resolution SAR maps, interleaved air-to-air and air-to-surface mode operations, and an all-environment precision strike capability.