Northrop Grumman has successfully installed a production APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) on a U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18C Hornet at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California.
The fit check, performed August 2 at the request of the Marine Corps, demonstrated SABR is a low-risk option for installation on F/A-18C/D Hornets and that the radar can be integrated with the aircraft’s power, cooling and avionics systems.
“The Marine Corps asked for an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) solution due to the radar’s increase in reliability and sustainability with no decrease in operational performance,” said Greg Simer, vice president, integrated avionics systems, Northrop Grumman. “The Marine Corps’ stated objective is to modify an in-production, fielded AESA while meeting the current size, weight, power and cooling requirements of the F/A-18 C/D. We have proven our production APG-83 SABR radar fits into the F/A-18 C/D, achieving the objectives and bringing the technical maturity needed to attain the Marine Corps fleet insertion timelines.”
The APG-83 is a multifunction AESA fire control radar that delivers fifth-generation fighter capabilities to counter and defeat increasingly sophisticated threats.
The greater bandwidth, speed, and agility of AESA radars enables fighter aircraft to detect, track, and identify a greater numbers of targets, faster and at longer ranges and to operate in hostile electronic environments. In addition, the radar can operate in hostile electronic environments and features all-weather, high-resolution synthetic aperture radar mapping, which presents the pilot with a large surface image enabling precision target identification and strike.
Northrop Grumman is competing to replace the mechanically-scanned radar on F/A-18C/Ds with an AESA radar. The Marine Corps plans to upgrade the radar on approximately 100 F/A-18C/Ds. The APG-83 will address survivability, reliability and maintainability concerns for the U.S. Marine Corps. The capabilities of this advanced AESA are derived from the F-22’s APG-77 and the F-35’s APG-81.
The APG-83 SABR has also been selected by a growing number of international customers and is the base radar for Lockheed Martin’s F-16 Block 70. Northrop Grumman began delivering production APG-83 radars for its first international customer on schedule at the end of 2016. The radar is designed to fit F-16 aircraft with no structural, power or cooling modifications.