The agreement requires Northrop Grumman to manufacture and supply 142 radars as part of the Taiwan Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon radar upgrade programme.
The radar successfully completed all design reviews, including systems requirement review, a hardware preliminary design review, as well as software and hardware critical design reviews in 2014.
Northrop Grumman combat avionics systems business unit vice-president Jeff Leavitt said: "The maturity of SABR’s design, coupled with our very experienced radar team, enabled us to bring all design reviews to a successful completion less than one year after the contract was awarded.
"The experience we have gained providing the radar for every F-16 in service, as well as for the F-22 and F-35, was invaluable in getting us to this point and will continue to guide us as we move toward production."
Lockheed selected SABR for the US and Taiwan’s F-16 radar modernisation and upgrade programmes in July 2013.
The APG-83 SABR is a multi-function, active electronically scanned array (AESA) fire control radar designed to bring fifth-generation air-to-air and air-to-ground radar capability to the F-16 fighters.
Specifically, the radar will 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.
SABR is a direct replacement for legacy F-16 radars. It features hardware and software commonality with the F-22 Raptor’s APG-77 and F-35 APG-81 radars. The radar also has a unique design that enables ease of retrofit, without aircraft structural modifications or changes to the F-16’s existing power and cooling systems.
First production system under contract is scheduled to be handed over to Lockheed in 2016.
Image: Northrop is set to begin production of APG-83 scalable agile beam radar for the Taiwan Air Force F-16 upgrade programme. Photo: courtesy of Al Jazeera English.