AN/APG-73 Radar System
The reprogrammable AN/APG-73 radar responds to new threats and accommodates future modes and weapons through software changes rather than hardware retrofit. The APG-73 is an all-weather, coherent, multimode, multiwaveform search-and-track sensor that uses programmable digital processors to provide the features and flexibility needed for both air-to-air and air-to-surface missions. It is an upgrade of the APG-65 that provides higher throughputs, greater memory capacity, improved reliability, and easier maintenance without associated increases in size or weight.
Phase II of the APG upgrade completed development. It incorporates a motion-sensing subsystem with reconnaissance software, a stretch waveform generator module, and a special test equipment instrumentation and reconnaissance module. With these enhancements, the F/A-18 aircraft will have the hardware capability to make high-resolution radar ground maps comparable with those of the F-15E and the U-2 aircraft, and be able to perform precision strike missions using advanced image correlation algorithms. The APG-73 is operational in the U.S. Navy F/A-18 C, D, E, and F; the U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18 A+, C and D; and in the air forces of Finland, Switzerland, Malaysia, Australia, and Canada.
The F/A-18 radar (AN/APG-65), requires an upgrade to improve electronic counter-countermeasure (ECCM) performance against improved threat electronic countermeasures (ECM). This threat ECM improvement has partially resulted from compromises in the F/A-18 radar performance against various threat electronic warfare systems.
The AN/APG-73 radar follows and capitalizes on AN/APG-70 and AN/APG-71 developmental and value engineering programs to maximize shop replaceable assembly (SRA) commonality. The F/A-18 AN/APG-73 Active Electronically Scanned Array program Phase I upgrade enhanced performance and in air-to-air arena, in a hostile electronic countermeasures environment, in the air-to-ground targeting, and provide multi-mode function flexibility. Phase II will provide significant Electronic Warfare improvements to target hostile emitters and provide aircraft Electronic Protect and Electronic Attack functions. Growth provision allow for reconnaissance capability through the use of synthetic aperture radar technology and improved hardware and software.
Forward fit of the AN/APG-73 was incorporated into Lot 16 (Block 43) and subsequent aircraft. Rug Phase I was approved for full rate production of retrofit units in September 1996. This OSIP reflects retrofit of Lot 13 through Lot 16 (Block 42) aircraft. A Pre-planned Product Improvement (P3I) Phase II to the RUG program developed improved hardware and software for an all-weather Reconnaissance (RECCE) strip map mode. Additional modes can be incorporated with software changes as required in the future. Development of RUG Phase II completed in FY 1998 and retrofit procurements began in FY 1999.
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