Northrop Grumman has announced that its AN/APG-83 scalable agile beam radar (SABR) on the Air National Guard (ANG) F-16s achieved full operational capability (FOC).

The FOC readiness declaration for the radar also implies it has met a US Northern Command Joint Emergent Operational Need (JEON) for homeland defence.

The US Air Force (USAF) commenced the installation of the multi-function active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars on the aircraft last month.

It is being carried out at Joe Foss Field, Sioux Falls in South Dakota, which is the fourth USAF base to get radar upgrades.

The upgrade will provide fifth-generation air-to-air and air-to-ground radar capabilities to the F-16 fighter pilots to better protect the airspace.

Northrop Grumman SABR programmes director Mark Rossi said: “SABR enables F-16 pilots to detect, track, identify and target a greater number of threats faster and at longer ranges from outside the threat envelope.

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“This upgrade will keep the multirole F-16 fighter relevant and capable for decades to come.”

The radar features all-weather synthetic aperture radar mapping function and hardware and advanced operating modes from the company’s fifth-generation F-35 and F-22 AESA radars.

These capabilities allow the pilot to more accurately identify and hit targets.

Last year, the USAF B-52H Stratofortress and B-1B Lancer bombers were planned to be equipped with the AN/APG-83 SABR system to replace the existing radar.