Upgraded Electronic Warfare Suite for the Global F-16 Fleet

The reliable, sustainable electronic warfare (EW) suite is designed to give the fourth generation fleet the EW capabilities and performance of fifth generation aircraft, keeping the F-16 relevant for the duration of the platform’s lifespan By DA Reporter / 23 Jun 2021

Northrop Grumman has developed a fully modernized F-16 electronic warfare (EW) suite for international operators that draws upon the technologies developed for the United States F-16 fleet.

The reliable, sustainable ALQ-131C pod is designed to give the fourth generation fleet the EW capabilities and performance of fifth generation aircraft, keeping the F-16 relevant for the duration of the platform’s lifespan. With the integration of the APG-83 AESA radar, the F-16 gains new radio frequency sensing and targeting capabilities. 

Northrop Grumman’s open systems EW architecture offers the bandwidth needed to detect and defeat the most sophisticated RF threats, including agile air defense systems.

“The F-16 EW Suite has proven pulse-to-pulse interoperability with the APG-83 AESA radar. Our goal was to maximize the performance of both of these critical radio frequency systems to provide enhanced survivability and lethality to the platform. Our extensive testing confirms the success of this approach,” said Jim Jensen, Technical Fellow at Northrop Grumman.

Commonality with the United States F-16 program of record provides a path to long-term access to upgrades and affordable sustainment to allow operators to keep up with the state of the art to defend against current and future threats.

“Our customers are facing a greater radio frequency threat to their tactical aircraft than ever before. Our ALQ-131C, and the U.S. F-16 electronic warfare suite, are bringing the latest digital RF survivability technologies to overcome this challenge,” said James Conroy, vice president, navigation, targeting and survivability, Northrop Grumman.

The ALQ-131C is designed to detect and identify known, emerging and future threats in complex environments. The ALQ-131C’s high sensitivity digital receiver, high speed processors and Digital Radio Frequency Memory enable high fidelity digital signal generation. 

Electronic countermeasures protect warfighters from threats by detecting and applying jamming techniques to them. This level of protection enables the freedom of maneuver necessary to carry out the many missions of international operators.

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