Northrop Grumman has successfully flown its Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) AESA radar on a USAF F-16 in tests at Edwards AFB in California.
The SABR is designed as a retrofit for F-16s and other fourth generation fighters as part of a greater electronics upgrade program. “This officially marks the first time a retrofit AESA has ever flown in a legacy F-16,” said Arlene Camp, director of advanced F-16 radar programs at Northrop Grumman’s Electronic Systems sector. “With regard to installed performance, SABR’s air-to-air and air-to-ground detection and tracking and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) mapping performance met or exceeded our predictions.”
No customers have ordered the SABR as yet, although countries such as Korea, Greece, Egypt, Israel and Turkey are reported to be interested in a potential upgrade of their F-16C/D fleets with the system. The only other AESA radar fit on an F-16 is that of the APG-80 equipped F-16E/F Block 60s supplied to the UAE, while the APG-80 has also been offered to India as part of Lockheed Martin’s F-16IN bid.