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The US Air Force has down-selected Northrop Grumman Corporation to complete the final project efforts to provide the Electronic Warfare (EW) suite for its F-16 fighter aircraft fleet. This critical 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 said it will continue to team with non-traditional defence contractors for the execution of this OTA project.

Ryan Tintner, Vice President, Navigation, Targeting and Survivability, Northrop Grumman, said, “This system draws on the best of our experience from multiple programmes 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 advanced 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), also built by Northrop Grumman.

The EW suite leverages an open systems, ultra wide-band architecture providing greater instantaneous bandwidth needed to defeat modern threats. This F-16 system is part of a mature product line of EW capabilities that can be adapted to protect virtually any platform or mission requirement. It shares a common technology baseline with the AC/MC-130J Radio Frequency Countermeasures Program and AN/APR-39 radar warning receivers. The EW suite configuration is scalable to meet both US and international partners’ operational needs in either an internal or podded configuration.

J C Menon