Northrop Grumman to upgrade RF and microwave components in F-16 APG-83 AESA radar in $18.7 million deal

June 19, 2020
The APG-83 AESA fire-control scalable agile-beam radar (SABR) integrates within the F-16’s structural, power, and cooling without aircraft modification.

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio – U.S. Air Force aerial warfare experts will upgrade RF and microwave hardware and software on modern active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar for F-16 jet fighter aircraft.

Officials of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, announced an $18.7 million order to last week to the Northrop Grumman Corp. Mission Systems segment in Linthicum Heights, Md., upgrade work that includes definitization of the AESA radar's RF target generator, additional support equipment, and software development support.

The APG-83 AESA fire-control scalable agile-beam radar (SABR) integrates within the F-16’s structural, power, and cooling constraints without Group A aircraft modification, Northrop Grumman officials say. The company leverages technology developed for the APG-77 and APG-81 radar systems on the U.S. F-22 and F-35 combat aircraft.

Related: Lockheed Martin to upgrade airborne electronic warfare systems aboard Egyptian F-16 jet fighters

Last March Northrop Grumman won a $262.3 million order for 15 APG-83 radar developmental-models, 90 production radars, spare parts, and avionics support equipment.

Last December Northrop Grumman won a $1 billion order for as many as 372 AN/APG-83 AESA radar systems for the F-16. This order is a modification to a $243.9 million Air Force contract to Northrop Grumman in May 2017 for 72 APG-83 radars.

In a 2013 competition, Lockheed Martin Corp., the F-16 manufacturer, selected the APG-83 as the AESA radar avionics for the F-16 modernization and update programs of the U.S. Air Force and Taiwan air force.

Related: Lockheed Martin to build eight F-16 Block 70 jet fighters and avionics for Bulgaria in $512 million deal

The bandwidth, speed, and agility of AESA radars enable legacy fighter aircraft like the F-16 to detect, track, and identify many targets quickly and at long ranges, and to operate in hostile electronic warfare (EW) environments.

Northrop Grumman is building APG-83 radar systems for global F-16 upgrades and new aircraft production, as well as for the U.S. Air National Guard. Northrop Grumman also has installed a production APG-83 SABR on a U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18C Hornet jet fighter-bomber, company officials say.

On this order Northrop Grumman will do the work in Linthicum Heights, Md., and should be finished by April 2023. For more information contact Northrop Grumman Mission Systems online at, or the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at

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