Actively Scanning for the Solicitation

Northrop Grumman officials said they expect the Air Force to “imminently” release a request for proposals outlining requirements for upgrading the radars on at least 300 F-16s, said Joe Ensor, general manager of the company’s ISR and targeting division. The Air Force intends to equip these F-16s with advanced electronically scanned array radar systems. Speaking during a Sept. 10 briefing with reporters in Washington, D.C., Ensor said the radar upgrade is likely to be separate from the planned service life extension program for the service’s F-16s. “We are working with the Air Force very closely on that right now,” he said. Company officials announced last year that they had begun incorporating software modes from the F-35 strike fighter’s APG-81 AESA radar, which Northrop Grumman supplies, into its Scaleable Agile Beam Radar design for the F-16. Appearing with Ensor, Pat Antkowiak, general manager of Northrop Grumman’s advanced concept and technology division, said integrating SABR on the F-16 would significantly boost the fighter’s capabilities. Raytheon is also expected to vie for the rights to upgrade the F-16s with its Advanced Combat Radar, or RACR, offering.