SHAH ALAM: New Radars for Hornets. As you are aware the US Marine Corps is looking to replace the radar of its F/A-18 Hornets with a new active electronically scanned array (AESA) system. The program is needed as the service intends to fly its Hornets – similar to the ones flown by the 18th Squadron – well beyond 2020.
The Marine Corps wants to buy 98 radar sets together with 14 spare sets. Work to replace the current radar – the Raytheon AN/APG-73 radar – is expected to start in late 2020 and ends by 2022. Two candidates are believed to be competing for the program – the Raytheon Advanced Capability Radar (RACR) and the Northrop Grumman Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR).
Northrop Grumman recently performed a test fit of the SABR on a Marine Corps F/A-18C recently.
The fit check, performed August 2 at the request of the Marine Corps, demonstrated SABR is a low-risk option for installation on F/A-18C/D Hornets and that the radar can be integrated with the aircraft’s power, cooling and avionics systems.
“The Marine Corps asked for an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) solution due to the radar’s increase in reliability and sustainability with no decrease in operational performance,” said Greg Simer, vice president, integrated avionics systems, Northrop Grumman. “The Marine Corps’ stated objective is to modify an in-production, fielded AESA while meeting the current size, weight, power and cooling requirements of the F/A-18 C/D. We have proven our production APG-83 SABR radar fits into the F/A-18 C/D, achieving the objectives and bringing the technical maturity needed to attain the Marine Corps fleet insertion timelines.”
The APG-83 is a multifunction AESA fire control radar that delivers fifth-generation fighter capabilities to counter and defeat increasingly sophisticated threats.
Northrop Grumman is competing to replace the mechanically-scanned radar on F/A-18C/Ds with an AESA radar. The Marine Corps plans to upgrade the radar on approximately 100 F/A-18C/Ds. The APG-83 will address survivability, reliability and maintainability concerns for the U.S. Marine Corps.
With RMAF Hornets expected to fly well at least until 2030 perhaps in the near future it should also opt for the same upgrades for the eight aircraft in service and also the Kuwaiti Hornets thats been it is seeking to acquire.
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