August 12, 2004 (by Eric L. Palmer) - Northrop Grumman Corporation received a two-year contract to develop a radar replacement "kit" that will improve performance and enhance reliability in approximately 280 U.S. Air Force F-16C and D fighter aircraft.
Designated the AN/APG-68(V)9, the radar has been sold to six foreign customers as standard equipment on new F-16s. To date, Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector has delivered 150 of the radars to aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin on or ahead of schedule, marking another milestone in the successful 28-year production of fire-control radars for the F-16.
The (V)9 variant provides a 33 percent improvement in air-to-air detection range over earlier versions of the radar and introduces synthetic aperture radar, which allows high-resolution ground mapping for 24-hour, all-weather precision strike capability. The combination of new technology with open-systems architecture also reduces total ownership cost of the radar.
"This kit offers a very economical way to make a critical upgrade to the aircraft and provides our Air Force with a substantial boost in capability," said Bruce Ballantyne, vice president of F-16 Sensor Systems at Northrop Grumman. "The integration of these kits in the Air Force's F-16 is central to planned, continual improvement of the aircraft, ensuring its combat viability for decades to come."
The value of the two-year contract is $22 million.