B-1B Lancer

Northrop Grumman has unveiled its new scalable agile beam radar-global strike (SABR-GS), designed to bring the precision and reliability of active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar to the US Air Force’s (USAF) B-1B fleet.

Introduced at the 30th anniversary B-1 Reunion held at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, US, the SABR-GS has been developed as an affordable, low-risk radar retrofit solution to serve as a full performance, multi-function AESA radar for the B-1.

Built using open architecture standards, Northrop’s SABR-GS is a derivative of the AN/APG-83 SABR and can integrate data from other onboard sensors, enabling continued innovation and affordability for the life of the system.

"By developing SABR-GS, we’ve enabled capabilities now critical to the mission."

Northrop Grumman surveillance systems business unit vice-president Paul Kalafos said: "By developing SABR-GS, we’ve enabled capabilities now critical to the mission – a significant milestone for SABR technology and the B-1.

"By leveraging the successes of the SABR for the F-16 fighter, we have activated cost savings for the US Air Force’s B-1 programme, proven that SABR AESA technology is scalable and extended the survivability of the aircraft for the next 25 years."

The system features large synthetic aperture radar maps, advanced image processing and sensor integration that enhance situational awareness and offer new capabilities to B-1 for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting.

In 2011, the Air Force B-1 Systems Program Office awarded a $21m risk reduction contract to Northrop for the development of SABR-GS.

SABR-GS is set to replace the APQ-164 radar antenna, which are currently deployed on all B-1 bombers.

Image: A US Air Force B-1B Lancer heavy bomber. Photo: courtesy of US AIr Force via Wikipedia.