US To Equip Taiwan With 5th-Gen AESA Radars For Its 4.5-Gen F-16 Vipers To Counter Chinese J-20s

The United States Air Guard’s F-16s have now been declared fully operational with Northrop Grumman’s new AN/APG-83 ‘SABR’ AESA radars, sharpening its edge to defend the country and its vital global assets.

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The U.S. Air Force had begun installation of APG-83 radars on Air National Guard F-16s at Joe Foss Field, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the fourth U.S. Air Force base to receive AN/APG-83 SABR AESA radar upgrades in September.

These new ‘5th-generation’ radars will also be fitted on the F-16Vs to be delivered to the Republic of China Air Force (Taiwan).

“SABR enables F-16 pilots to detect, track, identify and target a greater number of threats faster and at longer ranges from outside the threat envelope,” said Mark Rossi, director, SABR programs, Northrop Grumman. “This upgrade will keep the multirole F-16 fighter relevant and capable for decades to come.”

According to the company, the AN/APG-83 features all-weather, high-resolution synthetic aperture radar mapping to present the pilot with a large surface image for more precise target identification and strike compared to legacy systems. Its design incorporates proven hardware and advanced operating modes from Northrop Grumman’s fifth-generation F-35 and F-22 AESA radars.

ND F-16 Combat Air Patrol_2 | Two F-16A Air-Defense Fighter … | Flickr
File Image – F-16s

The high degree of commonality and shared manufacturing processes and infrastructure drives efficiencies and affordability improvements across all of Northrop Grumman’s AESA radar programs.

Earlier, the Air Guard F-16s housed mechanically scanned array radars, and the addition of new radars would increase the lethality and combat effectiveness of these aircraft, with an enhanced detection range of 370 km.

Earlier, as EurAsian Times reported, Lockheed Martin Corp. was awarded a $62 billion, ten-year, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ), fixed-price-incentive contract for the production of F-16 Foreign Military Sale (FMS) aircraft.

Experts confirmed that Taiwan will receive 66 new US-made F-16 fighter jets in the biggest arms sale to the self-governing island in years. The deal finalized comes as China has been building pressure on the island, which Beijing considers to be an integral part of its territory.

The new F-16s, known as the F-16V or Viper, will be made at Lockheed Martin factories in Greenville, South Carolina, and Fort Worth, Texas. They will be the latest, upgraded models of the single-engine aircraft which first flew with the US Air Force in the late 1970s. They will join about 140 others already in the Taiwanese fleet.