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US Air Force picks Northrop Grumman to deliver EW suite for F-16 fleet

Photo: Northrop Grumman

The US Air Force has downselected Northrop Grumman to deliver the electronic warfare suite for its F-16 fighter aircraft fleet.

This capability will protect pilots from the growing danger of radio frequency-guided weapons by detecting, identifying and defeating advanced threat systems.

The agreement was issued under SOSSEC Consortium’s Air Force Open System Acquisition Initiative (OSAI) Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) for prototyping.

Northrop Grumman was selected over L3Harris for the project. Both companies received contracts in November 2019 to demonstrate EW prototypes for the Fighting Falcons. L3Harris demonstrated an integrated digital radar warning receiver solution while NG supplied a digital radar warning receiver and an internally mounted EW suite.

“The electronic warfare suite will significantly increase protection to F-16 operators as they execute their missions in increasingly contested environments,” said Ryan Tintner, vice president, navigation, targeting and survivability, Northrop Grumman. “This system draws on the best of our experience from multiple programs to create an effective and affordable solution to keep the Viper relevant throughout its service life.”

The system provides full-spectrum radar warning, threat identification and countermeasure capabilities. It also has proven pulse-to-pulse operability with the F-16’s newly acquired AN/APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) AESA radar.

The EW suite shares a common technology baseline with the AC/MC-130J Radio Frequency Countermeasures Program and AN/APR-39 radar warning receivers.