APG-68(V)9 Radar for Block 50/52 F-16


The Israeli Soufa F-16I, and Hellenic F-16 Block 52s are equipped with the latest version of Northrop Grumman APG-68 radar, the (V)9 multimode fire control radar that offers improved detection range and resolution. Only the Block 60 aircraft, destined for the UAE, are to be equipped with a more advanced version – the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar. Initially, the Israelis favored the local Elta EL/M-2032 fire control radar originally developed for the IAI Lavi, but encountered financial and political obstacles. The IAF decided to use an improved model of the F-16 radar, and was involved in the specifications definition phase of the new version. It was later been selected by most of the latest acquisitions – by Poland and Greece. The new version uses new, Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) technology that provided faster processors that provide increased throughput, with x5 faster processing speed and x10 growth in memory capacity over the current version. With the powerful processing capability, the new system has a high resistance to electromagnetic interference and countermeasures and future growth potential. The system offers new and improved capabilities in both air/air and air/ground modes, primarily in the operation at long range (BVR) and target rich airspace. The APG-68(V)9 offers 30 percent increase in detection range, improved search-while-track mode (four vs. two tracked targets) and larger search volume and improved track while scan performance. Its single target track performance has also been improved.

On air/ground missions, the new radar becomes an effective sensor, utilizing its high-resolution synthetic aperture radar mode, which allows the pilot to locate and recognize tactical ground targets from considerable distances. Although previous radars had some Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) capabilities, the new version generates imagery-class (2 feet resolution) high resolutions pictures, comparable to pictures delivered by the most modern commercial satellites. These pictures can be acquired from very long range, at all weather conditions and provide an effective, real-time source for the targeting of long range, precision guided weapons. The radar also has increased detection range in sea surveillance mode, and enhanced ground moving target identification and mappinc capability. The radar features an inertial measurement unit that improves dynamic tracking performance and provides an auto-boresight capability, which increases accuracy.