L3Harris has demonstrated full radio frequency compatibility of the Viper Shield electronic warfare (EW) suite with the F-16 Block 70/72 fighters’ APG-83 Active Electronic Scanning Array (AESA) radar at an event conducted at Lockheed Martin’s Systems Integration Lab.
In an 8 November 2023 release, L3 Harris stated that the testing included continuously exposing Viper Shield with APG-83 energy for more than 12 hours to test whether the radar pulses would interfere with EW functionality. According to L3Harris the test proved Viper Shield’s ability to filter out signal processing streams from the APG-83 AESA radar pulses without any performance compromise.
“These tests continue to highlight Viper Shield’s advanced capabilities and ability to integrate smoothly with the F-16’s on-board systems,” said Patrick Creighton, VP and GM of L3Harris Electronic Defensive Solutions. “When these two systems work in concert, they’re able to effectively detect and protect against threats like never before.”
The Drop 2 event marked the second interoperability test for the two systems; the first took place in mid-2022, with similar results.
What is the Viper Shield EW system?
Introduced in 2021, Viper Shield EW is designed to provide protection and offensive EW capabilities on the fourth-generation Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 70/72 multirole aircraft.
Software-defined technology components create an electronic shield around the aircraft, revealing digital radar threats and providing countermeasure capabilities in an integrated, internally mounted system.
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L3Harris states that the systems has lower lifecycle costs, is more easily upgraded, and has increased reliability and reduced weight. The system is also available to be configured in a pod solution for roll-on/roll-off capabilities.