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Re: 372 APG-83 AESAs for F-16s

Unread postPosted: 27 Oct 2020, 21:06
by energo
mixelflick wrote:New build F-15's, new AESA radars for F-16's, Block III Super Hornets...
Pretty extensive modernization across the board for US 4th gens, although you're seeing it in Russia/China too.


Except, that the US so far has produced closer to 2000 fighter AESAs and will field 2500-3000 more - including exports - in the comming decade, whereas the russians ca. 2030 will have less than a hundred on its SU-57 - at least with current plans. :mrgreen:

Re: 372 APG-83 AESAs for F-16s

Unread postPosted: 28 Oct 2020, 16:20
by mixelflick
energo wrote:
mixelflick wrote:New build F-15's, new AESA radars for F-16's, Block III Super Hornets...
Pretty extensive modernization across the board for US 4th gens, although you're seeing it in Russia/China too.


Except, that the US so far has produced closer to 2000 fighter AESAs and will field 2500-3000 more - including exports - in the comming decade, whereas the russians ca. 2030 will have less than a hundred on its SU-57 - at least with current plans. :mrgreen:


True, although the small number of Mig-35's in service are supposed to have an AESA too. I thought the plan though, was to retrofit AESA radars into SU-27SM2's or 3's, SU-30's and the SU-35 (and of course, the SU-57). Thought I read somewhere where this AESA was being offered to India for their SU-30MKI upgrades? That's going to be at best though, somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 AESA equipped fighters if they retrofit all Flankers. Maybe.

Re: 372 APG-83 AESAs for F-16s

Unread postPosted: 29 Oct 2020, 22:18
by energo
mixelflick wrote:
True, although the small number of Mig-35's in service are supposed to have an AESA too. I thought the plan though, was to retrofit AESA radars into SU-27SM2's or 3's, SU-30's and the SU-35 (and of course, the SU-57). Thought I read somewhere where this AESA was being offered to India for their SU-30MKI upgrades? That's going to be at best though, somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 AESA equipped fighters if they retrofit all Flankers. Maybe.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I know the Indians are going for a locally developed AESA. There were talks some years ago about a Russian upgrade, but I don't think anything materialised. The Mig-35 AESA still has no buyers AFAIK and I've seen no concrete plans for Russian SU-27/30 upgrades. That might very well change of course. However, five-ten years from now closer to a thousand Vipers will be flying around with AESAs: 372 for the US, 140 or so F-16Vs, 300 upgrades for nations like Singapore, Taiwan and Greece. And that's with current plans. :mrgreen:

Re: 372 APG-83 AESAs for F-16s

Unread postPosted: 01 Apr 2021, 06:13
by ruderamronbo
Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Linthicum Heights, Maryland, has been awarded a $259,591,988 firm-fixed-price modification (P00037) to contract FA8615-17-C-6047 for Active Electronically Scanned Array radars of Air Force F-16 aircraft. This modification is for the exercise of options to include 115 production radars, as well as associated spares. Work will be performed in Linthicum Heights, Maryland, and is expected to be completed December 2023. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $840,077,231. Fiscal 2020 aircraft procurement funds in the amount of $6,377,989; and fiscal 2021 aircraft procurement funds in the amount of $253,213,999 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.

Re: 372 APG-83 AESAs for F-16s

Unread postPosted: 02 Apr 2021, 04:07
by Fox1
If the APG-80 really has superior performance to the APG-83, then why aren't they just using the APG-80 to begin with? I understand adding the extra cooling components makes for extra work, but if the APG-80 really has a significant detection/tracking range advantage, then it would seem to be worth the effort. New build V model Block 70/72 can have all that stuff added when the aircraft are manufactured, which should reduce the workload. Older models that are being upgraded to the Block 70 standard will end up having much of their innards ripped out and replaced anyway, so that would seem the perfect time to install the extra cooling components needed to operate the APG-80.

That said, I'm not sure our F-16 fleet will receive the full Block 70 treatment. In that case, then yeah, an APG-83 would be an improvement over the old mechanically scanned radars and would not necessitate a ton of other changes. But for anyone buying new build airframes or doing serious upgrades of their fleet, I don't see why they don't go with the APG-80.

Re: 372 APG-83 AESAs for F-16s

Unread postPosted: 02 Apr 2021, 13:47
by sprstdlyscottsmn
Fox1 wrote:If the APG-80 really has superior performance to the APG-83, then why aren't they just using the APG-80 to begin with? I understand adding the extra cooling components makes for extra work, but if the APG-80 really has a significant detection/tracking range advantage, then it would seem to be worth the effort. New build V model Block 70/72 can have all that stuff added when the aircraft are manufactured, which should reduce the workload. Older models that are being upgraded to the Block 70 standard will end up having much of their innards ripped out and replaced anyway, so that would seem the perfect time to install the extra cooling components needed to operate the APG-80.

That said, I'm not sure our F-16 fleet will receive the full Block 70 treatment. In that case, then yeah, an APG-83 would be an improvement over the old mechanically scanned radars and would not necessitate a ton of other changes. But for anyone buying new build airframes or doing serious upgrades of their fleet, I don't see why they don't go with the APG-80.


It isn't as simple as "adding the extra cooling components". The F-16E Block 60 is closer to being a "one-off custom" F-16. There was a LOT of redesign work that had to go into it for the liquid cooling, adding internal volume. The F-16V Block 70/72 is designed from the ground up to be a "plug and play" upgrade from any F-16C Block 40/42/50/52 and many Block 40 users are going to be doing said upgrade. You can't add liquid cooling components because there is no where to put them.

The structural/volumetric changes of the F-16E have no bearing on the F-16V. The F-16V is the F-16C "perfected". The F-16E is the F-16 "perfected". The F-16E has internal IRST, liquid cooled AESA radar, and the F110-GE-132 engine.

Re: 372 APG-83 AESAs for F-16s

Unread postPosted: 03 Apr 2021, 06:20
by Fox1
sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:
Fox1 wrote:If the APG-80 really has superior performance to the APG-83, then why aren't they just using the APG-80 to begin with? I understand adding the extra cooling components makes for extra work, but if the APG-80 really has a significant detection/tracking range advantage, then it would seem to be worth the effort. New build V model Block 70/72 can have all that stuff added when the aircraft are manufactured, which should reduce the workload. Older models that are being upgraded to the Block 70 standard will end up having much of their innards ripped out and replaced anyway, so that would seem the perfect time to install the extra cooling components needed to operate the APG-80.

That said, I'm not sure our F-16 fleet will receive the full Block 70 treatment. In that case, then yeah, an APG-83 would be an improvement over the old mechanically scanned radars and would not necessitate a ton of other changes. But for anyone buying new build airframes or doing serious upgrades of their fleet, I don't see why they don't go with the APG-80.


It isn't as simple as "adding the extra cooling components". The F-16E Block 60 is closer to being a "one-off custom" F-16. There was a LOT of redesign work that had to go into it for the liquid cooling, adding internal volume. The F-16V Block 70/72 is designed from the ground up to be a "plug and play" upgrade from any F-16C Block 40/42/50/52 and many Block 40 users are going to be doing said upgrade. You can't add liquid cooling components because there is no where to put them.

The structural/volumetric changes of the F-16E have no bearing on the F-16V. The F-16V is the F-16C "perfected". The F-16E is the F-16 "perfected". The F-16E has internal IRST, liquid cooled AESA radar, and the F110-GE-132 engine.


Then why would customers seeking new build fighters opt for the Block 70 over the Block 60? The Block 60 seems like the clearly superior choice. Is it significantly more expensive than the Block 70? I can understand why someone that owns Block 40 Vipers would upgrade to the Block 70 standard. What doesn't make sense to me is why a customer seeking new build aircraft would opt for the Block 70 over the Block 60, unless the latter is simply far more expensive.

Re: 372 APG-83 AESAs for F-16s

Unread postPosted: 03 Apr 2021, 10:44
by basher54321
Didn't think block 60 is even an option now - it had a very short production run from 2005.

The Block 70/72 is based on the production model 50+/52+ which makes sense because the production line and logistics chain would be set up just for that especially in terms of cost.

What is telling is that the original F-16IN that was offered to India a decade back was based on the Block 60. The F-21 is however based on the new Block 70 with the offer of a GE-132, an IRST pod and a snazzy new cockpit.

Also not convinced the information is there to say that the Block 60 is the better option overall - a decade gap in digital computing terms is an eternity!

Re: 372 APG-83 AESAs for F-16s

Unread postPosted: 03 Apr 2021, 13:25
by sprstdlyscottsmn
The Block 60 is technically proprietary to the UAE as they funded it's R&D.

Re: 372 APG-83 AESAs for F-16s

Unread postPosted: 03 Apr 2021, 18:01
by Fox1
I was just reading something about the APG-83 elsewhere that stated new build Block 70 Vipers would have the means to use the APG-83 to its full capability and that in that capacity, its performance should be very similar to the APG-80 but with better ground mapping capability. This source also said that older aircraft retrofitted with the APG-83 did not have the built-in capacity to use the APG-83 to its full potential. I have no clue if this information is accurate or not. There is so much information out there on the web and an equal amount of misinformation. So that makes it difficult at times to know what to believe or dismiss. But if true, then it would make sense why new build aircraft aren't being fitted with the APG-80.

So can anyone confirm or deny that the APG-83 fitted to previous models of F-16 will be less capable than the same radar fitted to new build models? Previously I had thought an APG-83 was an APG-83, with the same capability across the board. But if what I read earlier is accurate, perhaps that would explain the confusion surrounding this topic.

Re: 372 APG-83 AESAs for F-16s

Unread postPosted: 03 Apr 2021, 19:43
by basher54321
Cant comment on what that source was looking at but the JUON requirement going back a few years made out it was happening in phases for the US - with early tests on the legacy avionics bus - but the last phase will develop full radar capability with the new avionics bus before it is fielded.

So that might mean that just shoving the radar onto the old Avionics Bus with the original computers might provide a bottleneck somewhere. Therefore anyone upgrading I guess may want to upgrade the avionics architecture also which would seem the US are doing anyway.

Re: 372 APG-83 AESAs for F-16s

Unread postPosted: 04 Apr 2021, 15:31
by wrightwing
Fox1 wrote:I was just reading something about the APG-83 elsewhere that stated new build Block 70 Vipers would have the means to use the APG-83 to its full capability and that in that capacity, its performance should be very similar to the APG-80 but with better ground mapping capability. This source also said that older aircraft retrofitted with the APG-83 did not have the built-in capacity to use the APG-83 to its full potential. I have no clue if this information is accurate or not. There is so much information out there on the web and an equal amount of misinformation. So that makes it difficult at times to know what to believe or dismiss. But if true, then it would make sense why new build aircraft aren't being fitted with the APG-80.

So can anyone confirm or deny that the APG-83 fitted to previous models of F-16 will be less capable than the same radar fitted to new build models? Previously I had thought an APG-83 was an APG-83, with the same capability across the board. But if what I read earlier is accurate, perhaps that would explain the confusion surrounding this topic.

All jets are being brought to the same configuration, radar, computers, new displays, etc...., new build or old.

Re: 372 APG-83 AESAs for F-16s

Unread postPosted: 29 Apr 2021, 03:57
by steve2267
New-build Block 70/72's may have increased cooling capacity built into the airframe. That's the only thing I can offer in addition to Basher's comments about old avionics busses.