Northrop Grumman has adopted ‘lean-agile’ methodologies in the development and integration of the AESA AN/APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) for the F-16 VIPER.

With this collaborative relationship [with the US Air Force], we are now able to deliver software updates to be tested on the F-16 in weeks instead of the months it would have taken using the traditional waterfall method,” explained Mark Rossi, Director, SABR Programs, Northrop Grumman. “Agile software development allows us to rapidly and affordably deliver capabilities to our customers – keeping F-16 operators ahead of their adversaries for decades to come.”

The AN/APG-83 features all-weather, high-resolution synthetic aperture radar (SAR) mapping, to present the pilot with a large surface image, for more precise target identification and strike capabilities compared to legacy systems. Its design incorporates proven hardware and advanced operating modes from the company’s fifth-generation F-35 AN/APG-81 and F-22 AN/APG-77 AESA radars. The high degree of commonality, shared manufacturing processes and infrastructure drives efficiencies and affordability improvements across all of Northrop Grumman's AESA radar programmes.

The AN/APG-83 is an official programme of record for the USAF, which has achieved initial readiness requirements for SABR to meet a US Northern Command Joint Emergent Operational Need (JEON) for homeland defence, and expects to formally declare full operational capability after JEON fielding has completed in late 2021.

The AN/APG-83 installed on a Northrop Grumman test aircraft. (Photo: Northrop Grumman)

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