Raytheon provided ChainHomeHigh with an update regarding their combat aircraft radars at this year’s Paris Air Show.
The company hopes for the United States Department of Defense to make a decision by the end of the year regarding which radar will equip the United States Air Force’s (USAF’s) Lockheed Martin F-16C/D Fighting Falcon multirole combat aircraft as part of the proposed upgrade for the jet. Raytheon’s RACR (Raytheon Advanced Combat Radar) is competing for selection in this programme with Northrop Grumman’s SABR (Scalable Agile Beam Radar) system. In April 2013, RACR was chosen by South Korea to equip its air force’s F-16C/D aircraft. Once a decision is made, and should Raytheon win selection, the firm says that it could commence the delivery of RACR radars to equip the USAF’s F-16s within the next two-to-three years. Raytheon also plans to commence RACR deliveries to South Korea within a similar timeframe.
Meanwhile, the USAF is completing operational testing for the company’s APG-82(V)1 radar which is to equip the service’s Boeing F-15E Eagle jets. The radar is equipping these aircraft as a retrofit, with 221 units to be delivered from 2015, and deliveries expected to be completed by 2020. Finally, Raytheon is supplying its APG-79 radar for the US Navy’s Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet combat aircraft, and the service’s E/A-18G Growler electronic warfare platform. It will soon deliver its 400th example.
A ‘slimmed down’ version of the APG-79, which also forms part of the RACR brand, is due to be released in the immediate future and is designed to equip legacy F/A-18C/Ds in service with several air forces around the world. Raytheon have taken an interesting approach as regards the architecture of the APG-79, RACR and APG-82(V)1 as all of these radars have the same back end, helping to reduce manufacturing and maintenance costs.