AN/APG-68 Radar System
The AN/APG-68 Radar System used on the F-16 C/D aircraft. The proper operation of the Radar System is vital to the safety and operational capabilities of the aircraft.
Technologies that proved both successful and crucial during Operation Desert Storm included the Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared System for Night (LANTIRN), the APG-68 and APG-70 attack radar with advanced cockpit displays. Pilots claimed the APG-70 attack radar in the F-15E and the APG-68 in the F-16 offered "phenomenal" range and resolution. In interviews, they proclaimed "if it had metal in it, we could find it," and "with the APG-70, you could tell from 30 miles away whether a MiG-sized target had weapons or fuel tanks on it." These radar systems were an outgrowth of the Forward Looking Advanced Multi-mode Radar program conducted by the Wright Laboratory's Avionics Directorate in the 1970s.
Features of the Block 52+ include an AN/APG-68(V)9 radar fire control system and a Sniper Extended Range pod, which is an advanced targeting pod designed with an infrared pointer, laser, day TV, forward looking infrared, laser spot tracker and advanced algorithms. The Blk 50 AN/APG-68(V)9 radar enables an all weather autonomous detection and targeting capability to take full advantage of newly introduced Global Positioning System (GPS) weapons to conduct evolving missions of time critical targeting and Destruction of Enemy Air Defenses (DEAD). Modifications to the AN/APG-68 radar system and to the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-68(V)9 improved detection range and resolution. Application of advanced electronics enhances the radar's ability to operate in a dense electronic environment and to better resist jamming.
The AN/APG-68(V)9 radar upgrade program will provide improved performance and savings compared to the F-16's existing AN/APG-68(V)5 radar. The AN/APG-68(V)9's increased reliability features combined with newer, more available digital parts will significantly decrease annual operations and support costs. The AN/APG-68(V)9 will provide the F-16 with high-resolution synthetic aperture radar maps that will allow the employment of precision-guided munitions in all-weather conditions. This upgrade is strongly supported by the Air Force's Air Combat Command.
The AN/APG-68(V)9 radar system improves air-to-air capabilities as well as air-to-ground capabilities by:
- 30 percent increase in detecting range
- Improvement in false alarm rate and mutual interference
- Increase in maximum tracked targets to four
- Improved track performance in the Track While Scan mode
- Improved track performance in Single-Target-Track mode
- Two-foot resolution in the new Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) mode for autonomous and precision weapon delivery
- Improvement in target detection and map quality in Ground Moving Target Indication mode.
This new radar is five times faster in processing in information mode and it offers ten times more memory than that of the AN/APG-68 radar system.
The United States Air Force intended to award a single production contract for the purchase of 134 Modular Receiver/Exciters (MoREs), and 134 Common Radar Processors (CoRPs) Line Replaceable Units (LRUs). The production contractor will be required to produce, support and maintain, and to integrate the two LRUs and will be required to equip the entire fleet of 67 B-1B aircraft by 2014. The 812 AESG anticipates awarding a single contract for the production, support and integration of these units in January 2010 following Milestone C approval. The B-1 radar Reliability and Maintainability Improvement Program (RMIP) will provide B-1 combat forces with an updated offensive radar system that reduces existing mission capable (MC) rate problems due to increasing DMS problems of the legacy AN/APQ-164 system. The existing B-1 radar system is over 20 years old and has not had a hardware upgrade since it was initially fielded in 1985. RMIP addresses critical sustainability issues on the B-1 weapon system and is required to avoid potential fleet grounding actions as early as the 2010 timeframe. The RMIP was designated an Acquisition Category (ACAT) II program. The RMIP production effort is replacing the two highest failure rate line replaceable units (LRUs).
Under the RMIP production contract the B-1 Radar Receiver Transmitter (RRT) will be replaced with a derivative of the F-16 AN/APG-68(V)9 receiver, the MoRE, and the B-1 Radar Signal Processor (RSP) will be replaced with a derivative of the F-16 AN/APG-68(V)9 signal processor, the CoRP. The RMIP is leveraging existing proprietary technology from F-16 APG-68(V)9 program to update the legacy AN/APQ-164 Offensive Radar System (ORS). The RMIP SDD Program is responsible for designing, developing, and integrating the B-1 Radar Modes with the two new LRUs, the MoRE and the CoRP.
The AN/APG-68(V)10 radar program was in the process of being terminated as of early 2007.
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