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FARNBOROUGH: Northrop seeks to enhance SABR for F-16

Northrop Grumman is seeking to enhance the scaleable agile beam radar (SABR) for the F-16 by porting new software modes developed for the F-35, says vice president for global sensor solutions Timothy Winter.

Northrop is unable to clarify which modes are involved, but Winters describes them as enhancements that boost the accuracy of the SABR air to air, air to ground and electronic protection modes.

It also has internally funded an effort that has demonstrated porting an F-35 mode with 70,000 lines of software code into SABR, Winters says.

The capability improvements may help Northrop sell SABR to the US Air Force as a retrofit for F-16 Block 50/52s, which would complement the F-35 as it enters service with the Northrop APG-81.

The company launched SABR development in 2008 to provide an electronically scanned array (AESA) for the global F-16 retrofit market.

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