The US Air Force (USAF) B-52H Stratofortress and B-1B Lancer bombers could be equipped with the fifth-generation, platform-agnostic AN/APG-83 scalable agile beam radar (SABR) system to replace the existing radar.
The USAF intends to replace the B-52’s Northrop Grumman AN/APQ-166 mechanically scanned radar as part of a radar modernisation programme.
As part of the plan, Boeing is considering SABR for the B-52 Bomber Modernisation Radar System, which includes engineering, manufacturing, development and delivery of an initial seven radar units.
Production of the B-52 commenced in 1952. Currently, there are 76 of the aircraft in service with the USAF.
The SABR system, developed by Northrop Grumman, is also a candidate for integration on the US Marine Corps F/A-18C/D Hornet strike fighter and other aircraft platforms.
Northrop Grumman has completed the integration of the advanced AN/APG-83 SABR system onto multiple configurations of F-16 aircraft.
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According to the company, the system design benefits from the fifth-generation active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar capabilities of the AN/APG-77 on the F-22 Raptor and the AN/APG-81 on the F-35 Lightning II.
The firm projects SABR as a cost-effective, off-the-shelf, low-risk radar upgrade solution for multiple platforms.
Northrop Grumman airborne C4ISR systems vice-president and general manager Tom Jones said: “The SABR and SABR-Global Strike family of radars provides differentiating capability for air dominance and strike missions.
“Our hot production and sustainment lines are already in place to support our current and future customers’ needs for decades to come.”
Northrop Grumman stated that it is in full-rate production of SABR to support F-16 upgrade programmes.