August 27, 2003 (by Stefaan Vanhastel) - Northrop Grumman Corporation's Electronic Systems sector has delivered the first AN/APG-80 advanced agile beam fire control radar to Lockheed Martin Corporation for the new F-16 block 60. The first batch of Block 60 aircraft is being produced for the United Arab Emirates.
The APG-80 features advanced air-to-air and air-to-ground modes and incorporates Northrop Grumman's fourth-generation transmitter/receiver technologies.
APG-80 radar deliveries are scheduled through late 2005 for the fleet of 80 F-16 block 60
aircraft destined for the UAE
As Northrop Grumman commences delivery of production APG-80 radars for the F-16 Block 60 program, testing of additional software modes will continue into next year using test radars on board the company's BAC 1-11 test bed aircraft in Baltimore. Following formal radar acceptance tests in mid-July, the radar was delivered to Lockheed Martin's Aeronautics Company facility in Fort Worth, Texas.
The radar will be installed in the first F-16 Block 60 airframe by the end of September. First flight of this aircraft is scheduled for late november.
The APG-80 is designed to search continuously for and track multiple targets within the forward hemisphere of the aircraft. As a result of increased operational flexibility, pilots will be able to simultaneously perform air-to-air search- and-track, air-to-ground targeting and aircraft terrain-following. Additional advances of the APG-80 agile beam radar include much greater detection range, high-resolution synthetic aperture radar imagery, and a two-fold increase in reliability compared to conventional, mechanically scanned radars.
In addition to the radar, Northrop Grumman is providing the Integrated Forward-Looking Infrared and Targeting System (IFTS
) and the Integrated Electronic Warfare System (IEWS) for the F-16 Block 60 aircraft. Included in the Block 60 contract is the Combined Intermediate Automatic Test Equipment (CIATE) program. The CIATE is capable of automatically testing all three Northrop Grumman sensor systems -- the APG-80, IFTS, and IEWS -- and will detect faults and allow subsystem repair down to the component level.