NORWAY IS TO flight-test Northrop Grumman's AAR-54(V) missile-approach warning system on the Lockheed Martin F-16 mid-life update (MLU) aircraft.

Data from the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) evaluation will be supplied to Denmark and the Netherlands, both of which are also upgrading F-16s under the MLU programme.

Northrop Grumman will integrate the passive, imaging-ultraviolet AAR-54 into a self-protection suite suitable for the three nations' MLU F-16s.

Six sensors will be mounted on underwing pylons, three in each of two Per Udsen pylon-integrated dispenser systems, and controlled by the F-16's Terma Elektronic electronic-warfare management system.

Threat data will be presented on the ALR-69 radar-warning receiver display, and alert information will be sent to the ALE-40 countermeasures dispensers.

Northrop Grumman's ALQ-162 radio-frequency countermeasures system, with pulse-Doppler upgrade, will be installed in one of the pylons.

The RNoAF will flight test the system under European conditions to evaluate false-alarm and clutter-rejection performance. The test programme is to be completed in early 1998.

The Belgian Government has formally approved the MLU of an additional batch of 42 Lockheed Martin F-16A/Bs. Originally the project was restricted to 48 aircraft. Approval in principle for the update was given in January.

A budget of BFr. 2.2 billion ($55 million) will be made available in fiscal year 1997, covering 24 aircraft. A further batch of 18 will be updated in 1998, and the budget for these aircraft will be determined in 1998.

Work on the programme will be done by Belgian aircraft manufacturer SABCA, which licence-built all 160 of the aircraft for the Belgian air force.

Source: Flight International