Northrop Embarks on F-35 AESA Radar Development Project

Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC) has begun development work on an active electronically scanned array radar for the Lockheed Martin-built (NYSE: LMT) F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft.

Northrop said Wednesday the AN/APG-85 AESA system is a multifunction sensor that will be compatible with all F-35 variants designed to provide warfighters situational awareness and the capability to counter and defeat existing and projected aerial and surface threats.

In addition to AN/APG-85, the company makes the AN/APG-81 AESA fire control radar for the F-35 jet as well as the center fuselage and wing skins, avionics, sensor systems, mission-planning software, electronic warfare simulation test capability, pilot and maintainer training systems courseware and low-observable technologies.

The War Zone reported that the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps are working together to integrate the new advanced radar into the F-35 aircraft.

The F-35 Joint Program Office told the publication that the AN/APG-85 radar will be installed on all F-35A, F-35B and F-35C variants that are part of the Block 4 modernization program.

On Jan. 6, the Air Force flew for the first time an F-35 aircraft in the Technology Refresh 3 configuration, which serves as an update to the fighter jet’s computational core to support Block 4 capabilities.

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