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AN/APG-80 Agile Beam Radar

The United Arab Emirates F-16 Block 60 fighter aircraft has an AN/APG-80 multimode radar with active electronically scanned array (AESA) antenna, an AN/AAQ-32 FLIR navigation and targeting system, plus advanced cockpit layout and three-color liquid crystal displays having picture-in-picture and moving map capability. There is a digital fuel management system, higher-capacity environmental control system, new air data system and expanded digital flight control system with additional automatic modes, such as terrain following. Specialized equipment include the Northrop Grumman Falcon Edge Electronic Counter Measures system and Thales secure radio and datalink. Block 60 power plant is the General Electric F110-GE-132 engine.

The APG-80 has almost twice the air-to-air detection range offered by the mechanically scanned APG-68(V)7, although it concentrates on air-to-ground modes, with SAR ground imaging resolution of 1 ft or better. The APG-80 is designed to search continuously for and track multiple targets within the forward hemisphere of the aircraft. As a result of increased operational flexibility, pilots will be able to simultaneously perform air-to-air search-and-track, air-to-ground targeting and aircraft terrain-following. Additional advances of the APG-80 agile beam radar include much greater detection range, high-resolution synthetic aperture radar imagery, and a two-fold increase in reliability compared to conventional, mechanically scanned radars.

The APG-80 is the first production system to benefit from Northrop Grumman's fourth-generation transmitter/receiver module technologies which provide significantly enhanced performance over the latest AN/APG-68(V)9 which equips current Block 50/52 F-16s of the USAF, while maintaining installation commonality with that system.

In August 2003 Northrop Grumman Corporation's Electronic Systems sector delivered the first AN/APG-80 advanced agile beam fire control radar to Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) for the F-16 Block 60 aircraft being developed and produced for the United Arab Emirates (UAE). "This important program milestone marks the culmination of engineering, manufacturing, and development efforts for the agile beam radar portion of the F-16 Block 60 program," said Craig Johnson, vice president of F-16 Sensor Systems at Northrop Grumman. "The APG-80, which features advanced air-to-air and air-to-ground modes, represents the first production system to benefit from Northrop Grumman's fourth-generation transmitter/receiver module technologies."

As Northrop Grumman commenced delivery of production APG-80 radars for the F-16 Block 60 program, testing of additional software modes continued into 2004 using test radars on board the company's BAC 1-11 test bed aircraft in Baltimore. APG-80 radar deliveries were through late 2005 for the fleet of 80 F-16 Block 60 aircraft destined for the UAE.

Following formal radar acceptance tests, witnessed in Baltimore in mid-July 2003 by officials from Lockheed Martin's F-16 Block 60 radar team, the radar was delivered to Lockheed Martin's Aeronautics Company facility in Fort Worth, Texas, where it will be installed by the end of September in the first F-16 Block 60 aircraft. The first flight of the aircraft, as part of the ongoing Lockheed Martin-led weapons systems development effort, is scheduled for late November.

The APG-80 is designed to search continuously for and track multiple targets within the forward hemisphere of the aircraft. As a result of increased operational flexibility, pilots will be able to simultaneously perform air-to-air search-and-track, air-to-ground targeting and aircraft terrain-following. This new agile beam approach represents a quantum leap forward in advanced, multimode fire control radar systems and will provide pilots with vastly improved situational awareness. Additional advances of the APG-80 agile beam radar include much greater detection range, high-resolution synthetic aperture radar imagery, and a two-fold increase in reliability compared to conventional, mechanically scanned radars.



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