WESTINGHOUSE AND Lockheed Martin are working out the cost of proposed upgrades to the APG-68 radar to give full night interdiction/close-air-support capability to some Lockheed Martin F-16s without the need for add-on targeting and navigation pods.

The upgraded radar, the APG-68(I), would be operated in two additional modes - synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) mapping and terrain following (TF). It would also be closely integrated with a combined forward-looking infra-red/laser designator, dubbed the internal-targeting system (ITS).

The addition of high-resolution SAR would allow for more flexible targeting of new weapons such as the Joint Direct Attack Munition.

The proposed upgrades would fulfil some goals of the US Air Force Air Combat Command's fighter-configuration plan (FICOP). The USAF is studying a wide range of potential modifications to the F-16 for 2000 and beyond.

If sanctioned, the FICOP upgrades would become a fourth stage of the multi-stage improvement plan for the F-16.

"We are in a costing phase with Lockheed Martin to work that into the USAF budget through the F-16 SPO [system programme office]," says Bill Fountain, business development manager for advanced avionics at Westinghouse's avionics division.

The core of the upgrade would be an advanced programmable signal-processor supporting the SAR and TF modes, as well as the ITS, which would consist of dual-ball infra-red and laser systems, with one mounted above and another below the nose.

To support its bid, Westinghouse also plans to stress commonality with its own APQ-164 radar, which is fitted to the Rockwell B-1B bomber. This uses a travelling-wave-tube (TWT) transmitter identical to the APG-68 unit.

Source: Flight International