January 10, 2007 (by Asif Shamim) - Northrop Grumman has been awarded a contract to provide its advanced AN/APG-68(V)9 airborne fire control radar capability for a total of 52 F-16 fighter aircraft for the Pakistan Air Force.
The contract, which was awarded by the USAF is valued at $49.75 million, calls for the manufacture and installation of the radars on 18 new F-16 block 52
+ aircraft with retrofit kits for the 34 existing F-16 A/B block 15
aircraft in the PAFs inventory. Delivery of the new radars will commence next year in 2008.
Additionally the contract also included options to equip a further 44 F-16 aircrafts with the same radar capability. This would involve the manufacture of additional radar systems for 18 new F-16 block 52+ aircraft, with retrofit kits for an additional 26 F-16 A/B block 15 aircraft.
The newest version of the F-16 radar, Northrop Grumman's AN/APG-68(V)9, features a high resolution synthetic aperture radar capability and provides the F-16 with extended air-to-air detection range, increased reliability and lower support costs.
"Today's combat and peace keeping operations require very precise air-to-ground strike capability," said Katie A. Gray, vice president of F-16 sensor systems at Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector. "The Pakistan
Air Force will not only employ state-of-the-art fire control radar capability for both air-to-ground and air-to-air superiority, but will also benefit from the cost savings associated with F-16 fleet radar commonality across all of their new F-16s and existing F-16 A/B block 15 aircraft."
Currently over 450 APG-68(V)9 radars have been ordered by eight different countries, with over 300 radars delivered for integration and installation in new F-16 block 52+ aircraft, for retrofit into F-16 C/D aircraft and for retrofit into F-16 A/B aircraft.