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Electronic warfare suite for F-16 Block 70 jets passes critical milestone

3rd February 2023 - 14:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


The Viper Shield EW system for the F-16V (Block 70/72) has achieved a critical design review milestone. (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

The L3Harris Viper Shield EW system has moved a step closer to service entry with Foreign Military Sales customers after passing a critical design review.

L3Harris Technologies announced on 30 January a critical design review milestone for the AN/ALQ-254(V)1 Viper Shield EW system which will provide offensive and defensive EW capabilities for F-16 Block 70/72 FMS aircraft.

Viper Shield successfully completed its CDR milestone with Lockheed Martin and the USAF observing. Designed as the baseline EW system on Block 70/72 aircraft, it will provide aircraft protection through using multiple digital radio frequency, memory-based jamming.

Ed Zoiss, president, Space and Airborne Systems, L3Harris said: 'As the only EW system for these aircraft to successfully achieve this CDR milestone, we are one step closer to helping our global customers detect and defeat modern advanced threats.'

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In late 2022, Viper Shield demonstrated interoperability with the APG-83 active electronically scanned array radar during testing at Lockheed Martin's Systems Integration Lab. The internally mounted Viper Shield run on open-systems architecture using COTS to support future upgrades and lower lifecycle costs.

L3Harris has funded Viper Shield using internal research and development and international commitments.

Shephard Defence Insight lists a total of 140 F-16V aircraft on order from six international customers - Bahrain, Bulgaria, Jordan, Morocco, Slovakia and Taiwan. The latter country, along with Greece and South Korea is also upgrading in-service F-16 fleets to Block 70/72 standard.

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