Northrop Grumman sees significant opportunities for Active Electronic Scanned Array (AESA) radar upgrades for Lockheed Martin F-16 aircraft in both the UAE and the broader Middle East.

The US government is in discussions with the UAE to upgrade the APG-80 AESA radars installed in the country's fleet of about 80 F-16 Block 60s, said Skip Wagner, director of business development for global sensor solutions. He added that the USA has also discussed the possibility of providing APG-80s for a potential follow-on order of F-16 Block 60s.

Speaking with Flight Daily News at the Northrop Grumman chalet, Wagner estimated that there is a broader market to upgrade the radars of 400-500 F-16s operated by regional air forces in countries such as Egypt, Oman, Pakistan, and Jordan.

The market is not yet ripe, however. The US air force has yet to announce an AESA upgrade for its F-16s. Either South Korea or Taiwan could be the first movers in the F-16 AESA upgrade segment. In both countries, Northrop is pitching its Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) and rival Raytheon its Raytheon Advanced Combat Radar (RACR).

The APG-80 operated by the UAE bears great similarity to the SABR. "Both are produced by the same people in the same factory," said Wagner.

Source: Flight Daily News