Air Force asks Northrop Grumman for APG-83 AESA fire-control radar systems to upgrade F-16 jet fighters

April 19, 2024
AESA radars enable legacy aircraft to detect, track, and identify many targets quickly, and operate in hostile electronic warfare (EW) environments.

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio – U.S. Air Force aerial warfare experts are ordering additional modern active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar for F-16 jet fighter aircraft under terms of an $55.9 million order announced in late March.

Officials of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, are asking the Northrop Grumman Corp. Mission Systems segment in Linthicum Heights, Md., for additional production radars and spare parts. This order increases the total value of the Northrop Grumman radar contract to $1.6 billion.

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.

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: Boeing to integrate BAE Systems electronic warfare (EW) avionics aboard upgraded Japan F-15 jet fighter

The bandwidth, speed, and agility of AESA radars enable legacy fighter aircraft like F-16 jet fighters 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 May 2031. For more information contact Northrop Grumman Mission Systems online at, or the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at

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