Raytheon wins F-16 display upgrade contract

Washington DC
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Raytheon will install a large, colour display in Lockheed Martin F-16 cockpits, a key enabler for future sensor upgrades.

The US Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve selected Raytheon's 6 x 8in (15.2 x 20.3cm) centre pedestal display for a requirement to upgrade hundreds of F-16 Block 30s.

Including spares, Raytheon believes the two services could order as many as 720 displays over the next six years. The potential for foreign sales is comparable or even greater, says Tom Lansing, the company's business development senior manager for customised engineering and depot support.

raytheon f-16 cockpit, raytheon
 © Raytheon

For the Block 30 retrofits, the new cockpit display requires neither structural modifications nor changes to the operational flight programme, Lansing says. Software development is required, however, if customers select the display for newer Block 40 or Block 50 F-16s, he adds.

The new display replaces several analogue instruments and adds the ability to watch sensor feeds in colour. The US Air Force is considering proposals to integrate an active electronically scanned array radar in the F-16. The Raytheon active combat radar is competing with Northrop's scaleable agile beam radar for the potential requirement.

Raytheon's centre display unit upgrade is designed to be "sensor agnostic", Lansing says, allowing the USAF to integrate sensors from any manufacturer.