AN/APG-66 Radar System
The AN/APG-66 is a pulse doppler X-band multi-mode radar used in the F-16. One of the key elements of the modern fighter plane is the radar system. The development of the F-16 as a weapon system was always related to its ability to find and engage targets from a distance and to detect targets even during their low altitude profile flights. Many changes have taken place in airborne radar antennas since their beginnings in the 1940s.
Gimballed flat-plate arrays in nose radomes are typified by the AN/APG-66 (F-16) antenna. In the 1970s and early 1980s, the primary detection sensor of the F-16A/B version was the Westinghouse AN/APG-66 radar, medium-PRF (Pulse Repetition Frequency) radar (10 to 15 Megahertz). It operates in I/J band and features a flat-plate array antenna. It provides the pilot with 16 operating frequencies. The pilot can chose among any four. Total weight of the APG-66 is 296 pounds (134 kilograms). Mean Time between Failure (MTBF) is 97 hours.
The HU-25C carries the AN/APG-66 air-to-air and air-to-ground radar and a WF-360 forward looking infrared turret under the belly of the aircraft.
Primary air-combat mode is look-down. In that mode, the AN/APG-66 can detect a fighter-size plane at a range of 34.5 Nautical miles (55.6 kilometers). Four modes are available in air-to-air combat. In dogfight mode, the radar scans a 20 degrees x 20 degrees field. In high-g maneuvers, it scans a 40 degrees x10 degrees pattern.
A letter contract the Air Force awarded to Northrop Grumman on December 3, 1993 provided for the production of modification kits for the AN/APG-66(V)2 fire control radar. The Air Force and Northrop Grumman agreed on the contract price on July 15, 1994, and the final contract was signed on September 27, 1994.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|