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L3Harris on track to deliver Viper Shield in 2025

17th June 2024 - 11:40 GMT | by Damian Kemp in Paris

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The Viper Shield EW system for the F-16 Block 70 is nearing production. (Image: Lockheed Martin)

L3 Harris had a busy 2023 as it passed several milestones in the development of its Viper Shield. Both 2024 and 2025 are looking to be just as lively as delivery of production items nears.

L3Harris expects to complete the remaining software drops for its AN/ALQ-254(V)1 Viper Shield all-digital electronic warfare (EW) suite in the third quarter of 2025, with deliveries to Lockheed Martin expected to begin in the final third of the year.

Sources told Shephard at Eurosatory 2024 that the system’s digital radar warning receiver technology is being integrated with the aircraft’s new AN/APG-83 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, providing earlier threat alerting to the pilot.

The development comes in the wake of a busy 2023 where it successfully passed its critical design review and completed integration tests with the AN/APG-83 radar inn late 2023. The system this month underwent laboratory testing with Lockheed Martin.

Six countries are procuring a total of 188 systems which can either be provided as part of an F-16 platform upgrade to Block 70/72 standard or in a new build procurement.

Shephard Defence Insight notes that the all-digital system has been custom designed to be the baseline on advanced F-16 Block 70/72 aircraft and maximise their survivability and mission success. Its intended to provide US allies with cutting-edge countermeasures against sophisticated and ever-changing threats.

The system has all-digital architecture using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology, which enables enhanced system performance, reduced weight, a smaller form factor and easier future upgrades.

Designed with fewer critical components, not only does this reduce the weight, but also results in a higher mean time between failure and lower lifecycle costs. The 3U COTS technology is intended to simplify future upgrades s it can be affordably modernised with new capabilities in the future.

Shephard's Eurosatory 2024 coverage is sponsored by:

BAE Systems

Viper Shield AN/ALQ-254(V)1

F-16V Block 70/72

AN/APG-83 SABR

Damian Kemp

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Damian Kemp


Damian Kemp has worked in the defence media for 25 years covering military aircraft, defence …

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