APG-68 (V)9 Radars for Pakistan’s F-16s (updated)
Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems in Linthicum Heights, MD received a $99.5 million firm-fixed-price contract for “government furnished property for the Government of Pakistan” under the F-16 Block 50/52 new aircraft and modernization program. “The procurement of 54 AN/APG-68 (V)9 Radar Systems will be accomplished under the firm-fixed-price portion of the contract.” At this time, $49.75 million have been obligated, and work will be complete May 2010. The Headquarters Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH issued the contract (FA8615-07-C-6033).
These efforts are part of Pakistan’s $5.1 billion F-16 fleet expansion and upgrade program, and a January 10, 2007 press release from Northrop Grumman provides further clarity…
The 54 radar units break out in the DSCA request as 36 accompanying the 36 new F-16s, plus 7 spares for the new aircraft, plus 10 spares for retrofits of older F-16s. That makes only 53. But the January 10, 2007 Northrop Grumman release, which DID considers more authoritiative, cites just 52 of its AN/APG-68(V)9 radars for the $49.75 million order: 18 new radars for F-16 Block 52+ aircraft, plus retrofit kits for 34 existing F-16 A/B Block 15 aircraft.
According to the June 28, 2006 DSCA announcement, there is also a possible order for 60 more units under the F-16A/B Mid-Life Update (MLU) modification and Falcon Star Structural Service Life Enhancement kit program. Northrop Grumman’s January 10, 2007 release notes that this contract also includes options to equip up to 44 additional F-16s with the radar: complete radar systems for 18 new F-16 Block 52+ aircraft, plus retrofit kits for an additional 26 F-16 A/B Block 15 aircraft. Based on the DefenseLINK contract announcement, this option would be worth another $49.75 million (99.0 – 49.75).
Ultimately, these orders would create F-16 radar commonality across Pakistan’s entire F-16 fleet, while delivering a substantial aircraft performance upgrade to its older F-16 A/Bs. The second-newest version of the F-16 radar aside from the AN/APG-80 AESA radar mounted on the UAE’s F-16 Block 60s, Northrop Grumman’s AN/APG-68(V)9 features a high resolution synthetic aperture radar capability that improves precision air-to-ground strike capability, and provides the F-16 with extended air-to-air detection range, increased reliability and lower support costs.
To date, over 450 APG-68(V)9 radars have been ordered by eight different countries, with over 300 radars delivered for integration and installation in new F-16 Block 52+ aircraft, for retrofit into F-16 C/D aircraft, and for retrofit into F-16 A/B aircraft.
For more details regarding Pakistan’s $5.1 billion ‘F-16 Block 50/52 new aircraft and modernization program,’ which passed its 30-day oversight period in July 2006 despite some opposition in Congress, see “$5.1B Proposed in Sales, Upgrades, Weapons for Pakistan’s F-16s.”