The U.S. Air Force plans to award a contract to upgrade the radar on select F-16 aircraft, including eight planes at the Air National Guard Wing in Tulsa.
The new AESA (Active Electronically Steered Array) Radar will enable smaller target detection and tracking, greater targeting range, faster search capabilities, and an ability to engage multiple targets.
“This considerably enhances the capability of Tulsa’s F-16s, allowing for targeting at extended ranges to improve lethality against our enemies and survivability for ourselves,” said U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Oklahoma. “I have proposed increased spending for these systems in the current National Defense Authorization Act.”
The Air Force contract is with Northrop Grumman Systems for 72 AESA radars, spares and support services. Squadrons based in nine locations, including Tulsa, will each receive eight new units. Delivery of the first radar unit is expected to be in December 2018, with all 72 systems at full operational capacity by 2020.