F/A-18 AESA Radar Enters Full Rate Production

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The AN/APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar is moving into full rate production following U.S. Navy approval. Following the completion of low rate initial production phase which included 84 radars, Raytheon is ramping up production in anticipation of delivering a total of 437 systems for the Navy in coming years.

"The AESA is a game changer that not only improves the Super Hornet's sting but makes the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Block II more reliable, more survivable and more formidable against all known threats," said Bob Gower, vice president for the F/A-18 programs for Boeing. The revolutionary radar offers multi-target tracking and increased situational awareness. In air-to-air engagements, the radar allows targets to be engaged at very long ranges and offers reduced aircrew workload via its resource manager. The system also offers high-resolution ground mapping at long standoff ranges for air-to-surface tracking, with an interleaved mode capability and at least a three- to five-fold increase in system reliability.

The APG-79 is part of the Super Hornet Block II and the electronic combat EA-18G Growler. Two US Navy squadrons at Naval Air Station Oceana are slated to receive the new radars - the Black Lions of VFA-213 and the Gladiators of VFA-106. The former is the first Navy squadron to fly all AESA- equipped F/A-18F Super Hornets. In addition, AESA-equipped Block II Super Hornets are being introduced to squadrons at Naval Air Station Lemoore in California.



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