The U.S. Air Force has met Full Operational Capability (FOC) readiness for Northrop Grumman’s AN/APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR), an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar flying on Air National Guard F-16s.

The upgrade of Air National Guard F-16s extends the operational viability and reliability of the fleet by providing pilots with fifth-generation fighter radar capabilities to defend the nation’s airspace. It supports the U.S. Northern Command Joint Emergent Operational Need (JEON) for homeland defense.

“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.”

The AN/APG-83 has all-weather, high-resolution synthetic aperture radar mapping, which presents the pilot with a large surface image for more precise target identification and strike capability 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. The high degree of commonality and shared manufacturing processes and infrastructure improve efficiency and affordability across all of Northrop Grumman's AESA radar programs.

The AN/APG-83 AESA is now an official program of record for both the active and reserve U.S. Air Force, as well as the Guard, after the service procured units in February for Air Combat Command and Air Force Reserve F-16 aircraft. On September 7, the Air Force began installation of APG-83 radars on Air National Guard F-16s at Joe Foss Field at Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the fourth Air Force base to receive the SABR radar upgrade.