F 35 stealth fighter jets Radar System

F 35 stealth fighter jets Radar System

ISLAMABAD - The F-16 serves as the workhorse fighter jet of the United States and its NATO, Israeli, and Pakistani allies; it has been around for over four decades and has received multiple upgrades since the early 90s. The US Air Force has used the plane in its military operations in Iraq, the former Yugoslavia and Libya.

The US Department of Defense has granted defence giant Northrop Grumman Systems a $1 billion “definitised modification” to a previously-awarded contract to install new active electronically scanned array (AESA) fire control radars on up to 372 of the Air Force’s F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets, the Pentagon’s press service has reported link.

The defence giant was originally selected by the Air Force for an F-16 radar upgrade in 2017 link, with the Pentagon dolling out $243.8 million for 72 radars, spare parts and support services.

Northrop Grumman’s AESA radar, known as the ‘AN/APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR)’, can be mounted aboard various fighter aircraft, and its capabilities are said to be derived from the defence giant’s series of 5th gen AESA radars for the F-22 and the F-35.

Under the new billion dollar contract, the 372 radars are expected to be fitted by May 2027.

First introduced in 1978, and serving in nearly all of the US’s foreign wars since then, the F-16 was slated to be replaced by the Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter beginning in the early 2010s.

However, a slew of problems with that advanced but pricey aircraft’s introduction have kept the F-16 operational longer than planned – first until 2025, and to as late as 2048 link since then. The US has about 790 F-16s in its inventory.

In addition to the US, the aircraft serves in the air forces of over two dozen countries, with a total of over 4,600 F-16s built in the past four decades. About half of them remain operational today.