Northrop Grumman pushes SABR for USAF F-16
Northrop Grumman continues its efforts to provide its Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) for the US Air Force’s F-16 aircraft, outlining the advanced mapping capabilities that the Big SAR (synthetic aperture radar) will bring the system.
According to the company, Big SAR will deliver the largest, sharpest radar images ever available in an F-16.
The company is offering its SABR for the US Air Force’s F-16 radar upgrade programme. The system has already demonstrated several advanced radar capabilities for the F-16, including a series of demonstrations conducted in 2010 at Edwards Air Force Base in support of the F-16 AESA feasibility study.
With automatic target cueing, the SABR Big SAR will offer an advanced level of situational awareness and target identification for F-16 pilots. Northrop Grumman believes SABR optimises radar system performance within existing power and cooling allocations of legacy F-16s worldwide and will ensure F-16 fleets remain relevant for decades to come.
SABR is a multifunction active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar designed specifically for F-16 retrofit. It provides longer detection and tracking ranges, high-resolution SAR maps for all-environment precision targeting, interleaved mode operations for greater situational awareness and greater reliability.
Joseph Ensor, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman's Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Targeting Systems Division, said: ‘SABR's Big SAR is high-definition radar imagery that covers a large area on the ground in a single image. This advance will give F-16 pilots the largest maps with the most detail that they have ever seen in the cockpit. Combined with SABR's automatic target cueing capability, the F-16 will have targeting capabilities unmatched by any other fourth-generation fighter.’
Raytheon is also in the running for the programme, offering its Raytheon Advanced Combat Radar (RACR) for the F-16. This RACR system was recently selected for the South Korean F-16 aircraft, for which the SABR was also being offered by Northrop Grumman.
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