Raytheon Co. moves closer to its first international sale of RACR (Raytheon Advanced Combat Radar) following approval for the company to move forward with technical discussions with at least two potential customers. Both countries are looking to upgrade their F-16 fleets within the next two years in order to keep their force structure at the cutting edge of today’s complex battlespace. RACR is designed for all F-16s and is approved for export. The program is on schedule to fly production hardware on an F-16 during the first half of 2010.

“RACR continues to exceed expectations in meeting key production and integration milestones and has just wrapped up a series of validation tests at Lockheed Martin’s system integration laboratory,” said Tom Kennedy, Vice President of the Tactical Airborne Systems business division. The program demonstrated various radar capabilities in both air-to-air and air-to-ground modes as well as integration with Raytheon’s F-16 center pedestal display. The new color display allows pilots to conduct simultaneous operations and provides a clearer picture of the overall battlespace.

“RACR has 90 percent software and hardware commonality with our combat-proven AESA radar for the F/A-18 Super Hornet. Several US Navy squadrons are already operational in theater with this technology today, while the Royal Australian Air Force is also in flight training with our AESA radar system. This active production line allows us to provide F-16 customers with a high-performing, affordable but low-risk solution while also addressing obsolescence challenges they currently face with mechanical scanned radars,” added Kennedy.

Within the past year Raytheon has also installed the RACR radar twice on F-16s at both Lockheed Martin and Edwards Air Force Base. The seamless installation process demonstrated Raytheon’s proven modular radar design resulting in an easy upgrade path for customers who need AESA radar capability.