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Raytheon Co.’s latest netcentric enabled radar system, APG-79 AESA, has been awarded a significant multi-year contract worth $580 M by the Boeing Co. This five-year production contract for the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) APG-79 system successfully concludes negotiations for 190 radars from low rate initial production lot 3 and 4 (LRIP3/4) through full-rate production lot 1–3 (FRP1-3). The first low rate initial production APG-79 AESA radar designed for the F/A-18 E/F was delivered to Boeing Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) in January 2005. Following successful installation and testing, Boeing will deliver the first AESA-equipped F/A-18F to the US Navy in April of 2006. “The APG-79 program is on a roll this year,” said Erv Grau, vice president for Air Combat Avionics, the business area in Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, under which the radar program operates. “Securing this key contract with our customer, Boeing, so soon after our early delivery of the first radar, highlights the company’s confidence in our AESA program. APG-79 truly demonstrates the quantum leap in sensor technology, which will provide aircrews unequalled combat capability and play a critical role in supporting the Navy’s vision in how it intends to operate in the future.” The APG-79 AESA offers radically enhanced performance including increased air-to-air tracking at very long detection ranges, higher resolution synthetic aperture radar (SAR) maps at longer ranges, almost simultaneous air-to-air and air-to-surface mode capability, while delivering greater situational awareness than pilots had before. “The APG-79 AESA radar, combined with the other advanced systems aboard the Super Hornet, will provide capabilities that give our aircrews an invaluable edge over present and future enemies,” said Capt. Donald “BD” Gaddis, F/A-18 program manager for the Navy. “The AESA-equipped Super Hornet will transform the way the Navy projects power. It possesses the necessary tools that allow the Navy to operate, fight and win on a joint, networked battlefield.” “The AESA radar is a critical element of the Block II Super Hornet,” said Chris Chadwick, Boeing vice president for F/A-18 programs, “and is a critical element in providing unmatched warfighting capability for the 21st century.” The APG-79 radar has completed well over 200 flight tests to date and successfully demonstrated a range of critical functions. The team is currently maturing other advanced capability modes of the radar. The APG-79 will equip the Super Hornet as well as the E/A-18G Airborne Electronic Attack variant.
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