Northrop Grumman has been downselected as a sole contractor to provide the US Air Force (USAF) F-16 electronic warfare (EW) suite.

The contract will see the completion of the final project efforts in providing EW suite for the fighter jet fleet.

According to Northrop, this critical capability for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fleet will protect pilots from the danger of radio frequency (RF)-guided weapons.

It will allow pilots to spot and conquer ‘advanced threat systems’.

The agreement was issued under Consortium for System of Systems Security (SOSSEC) consortium’s Air Force Open System Acquisition Initiative (OSAI) Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) for prototyping.

For the execution of this project, the company will continue to partner with non-traditional defence contractors.

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The prototype of the system provides full-spectrum radar warning, threat identification as well as advanced countermeasure capabilities for F-16.

Northrop Grumman navigation, targeting and survivability vice-president Ryan Tintner said: “The electronic warfare suite will significantly increase protection to F-16 operators as they execute their missions in increasingly contested environments.

“This system draws on the best of our experience from multiple programs to create an effective and affordable solution to keep the Viper relevant throughout its service life.”

Leveraging an open system and ultra-wideband architecture, the F-16 EW suite provides greater instantaneous bandwidth required to defeat modern threats.

Its scalable configuration, internal or podded, allows operational needs of both US and international partners to be fulfilled.

Last month, Northrop Grumman delivered the USAF Research Laboratory (AFRL) Arachne spacecraft’s first flight hardware component, Helios.