July 18, 2005 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Northrop Grumman Corporation has received a three-year contract from the U.S. Air Force to finish developing a fire-control radar replacement "kit" that will improve performance and enhance reliability in approximately 240 F-16C and D fighter aircraft.
The contract is valued at $52 million.
Designated the AN/APG-68(V)10, this latest variant derives from the (V)9 version that six foreign countries have purchased as standard equipment on new F-16s. To date, Northrop Grumman has delivered 200 of the (V)9 radars to prime contractor Lockheed Martin Corporation, all of them on or ahead of schedule. This marks another milestone in the successful 29-year production of fire-control radars for the F-16.
Both the (V)9 and (V)10 variants offer a 33 percent increase in air-to-air detection range over earlier versions of the radar and introduce synthetic aperture radar, which allows high-resolution ground mapping. Coupled with other weapon-system improvements, this will give Air Force F-16s an autonomous 24-hour, all-weather precision-strike capability.
The initial two-year Air Force contract, awarded to Northrop Grumman in August 2004, was worth $22 million. Actual production of the upgrade kits will take place under a third contract that has yet to be negotiated.