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Northrop Grumman presses on with next-gen EW suite for F-16s

4th May 2022 - 09:42 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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USAF F-16 Fighting Falcon. (Photo: USAF/Tech Sgt John Raven)

Northrop Grumman is integrating its AN/ALQ-257 Integrated Viper Electronic Warfare Suite aboard USAF F-16 fighter aircraft.

The USAF has chosen Northrop Grumman to continue preparing the AN/ALQ-257 Integrated Viper Electronic Warfare Suite (IVEWS) for developmental test and full internal hardware qualification aboard F-16 fighter aircraft.

IVEWS uses an open ultra-wideband architecture to provide ‘the instantaneous bandwidth needed to defeat modern threats’, Northrop Grumman announced on 3 May.

The EW system is interoperable with the APG-83 scalable agile beam AESA radar aboard the F-16, as shown in 2021 during Exercise Northern Lightning.

Northrop Grumman is preparing IVEWS for hardware and software verification tests before planned flights on multiple F-16s later in 2022.

‘The company will also continue development of the infrastructure needed to move the system to production once testing is complete,’ it added.

The production and fielding of IVEWS are expected to begin in 2024.

Describing a ‘rigorous’ testing programme for IVEWS, James Conroy, VP for navigation, targeting and survivability at Northrop Grumman, added: ‘As advanced radio frequency threats proliferate, the capabilities IVEWS will provide are critical for the fourth-generation fighter fleet.’

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