Northrop Grumman has completed all engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) design reviews for the AN/APG-83 scalable agile beam radar (SABR).
Concluded in one year, the hardware and software design reviews successfully demonstrated the maturity of the company’s active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar technologies, the company said.
The software critical design review, the last in a series of reviews, evaluated the radar’s common software block for the US and Taiwanese Air Forces, and radar modes exclusive to Taiwan.
Lockheed Martin selected SABR in July 2013, for the US and Taiwan’s F-16 radar modernisation and upgrade programmes.
Northrop Grumman Combat Avionics Systems business unit vice-president Jeff Leavitt said: "Northrop Grumman is on track to deliver the first EMD radar hardware and software by the year’s end, which will be identical to the production radars.
"Achieving this milestone on cost, on time and at performance is indicative of the SABR AESA maturity.
"In addition, it is a reflection of the long-standing working relationship we have with Lockheed Martin and demonstrates our strong commitment to meet and exceed customer requirements."
SABR is designed to provide F-16 pilots with longer detection and tracking ranges, high-resolution search-and-rescue maps for all-environment precision targeting, interleaved mode operations for enhanced situational awareness and reliability on the battlefield.
Featuring hardware and software commonality with the F-22 Raptor’s APG-77 and F-35 APG-81 radars, the radar is expected to offer several benefits as pilots moving from one airframe to another will be familiar with many of the displays.
The radar’s unique design enables ease of retrofit, without aircraft structural modifications or changes to the F-16’s existing power and cooling systems, Northrop said.
In 2010, the radar completed a series of demonstration flights in support of USAF’s F-16 AESA feasibility study at Edwards Air Force Base in California, conducting 17 sorties without cooling or stability issues.
Image: The AN/APG-83 scalable agile beam radar is designed to provide F-16 pilots with longer detection and tracking ranges. Photo: courtesy of Staff Sgt. Cherie A. Thurlby.