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Northrop Grumman integrates Dragon’s Eye with F-16

19th November 2021 - 11:10 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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An Air National Guard F-16 being prepared for its first operational flight with AN/ASQ-236 Dragon's Eye pod on board. (Photo: Northrop Grumman)

Northrop Grumman’s platform-agnostic AN/ASQ-236 Dragon’s Eye Pod achieves first flight on an operational F-16.

The Air National Guard has flown the Northrop Grumman Dragon’s Eye Active Electronically Scanned Array radar pod on an operational F-16 for the first time.

The Air Force intends to deploy the pod operationally to both its Guard and Reserve F-16 fleets.

The Dragon’s Eye pod is already operational on the USAF F-15E Strike Eagle. It can be integrated on both large and fighter-sized platforms.

For example, Northrop Grumman has previously integrated the AN/ASQ-236 pod on an Air Force AC-130 gunship and Air Force B-52 bomber during a proof of concept demonstration.

The AN/ASQ-236 Dragon’s Eye radar pod is a tactical Ku-band AESA radar surveillance pod that provides aircrew with all-weather, multi-target detection, track and engagement capability.

Susan Bruce, vice president, advanced mission capabilities, Northrop Grumman, commented: ‘The addition of the Dragon’s Eye to the F-16 Viper is a force multiplier, enabling warfighters to detect, track, identify and target faster in theatre.’

According to Shephard Defence Insight, the AN/ASQ-236 synthetic aperture radar pod can be used to assist cartography, generate bomb damage assessments and perform general day and night surveillance.

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