Northrop Grumman’s SABR Receives Its First Production Order from Lockheed Martin
As part of the Taiwan Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon radar upgrade program, Northrop Grumman has agreed to supply 142 SABR radars. By optimizing the radar system within the existing power and cooling allocations of legacy F-16s, Northrop will ensure the F-16’s relevance for several more decades. In February 2015, Northrop Grumman secured a contract from Lockheed Martin to begin production of their APG-83 scalable agile beam radar (SABR). The APG-83 SABR is a multi-function active electronically scanned array (AESA) fire control radar.
Pilots of the F-16 with the SABR will have longer detection and tracking ranges, high-resolution search-and-rescue maps with precision targeting for all environments, and interleaved mode operations for enhance situational awareness. Northrop Grumman has already provided the SABR for every F-16 in service, as well as for the F-22 and F-35.
The SABR is a direct replacement for the current F-16 legacy radars. The radar is designed to enable easy retrofits that do not require any structural modifications to the F-16’s current power and cooling systems. Northrop has been able to keep costs low on the SABR by using ported software.
The APG-83 features hardware and software compatibility with the F-22 Raptor’s APG-77 and the F-35’s APG-81 radars. During testing, the SABR flew side-by-side with the APG-81 and produced exceptional results. The first production system is expected to be delivered to Lockheed in 2016.
The first SABR began flying in 2008. Northrop Grumman is the sole provider of the AESA radar upgrade for F-16s and other fifth-generation fighters. They are the only fire control radar supplier with nearly four decades of F-16 radar integration experience.
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