Northrop Developing Next-Gen F-35 Radar 

Northrop Grumman is developing a new F-35 fighter jet radar, the company revealed on Wednesday.

The company said that the AN/APG-85 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar will be compatible with all F-35 variants.

However, it’s slated to be installed only on the aircraft’s Block 4 version, The War Zone wrote, citing the F-35 Joint Program Office. 

‘Unparalleled Situational Awareness’

“The development and integration of APG-85 will incorporate some of the latest technologies available and help ensure air superiority,” Northrop stated.

“This advanced sensor will provide unparalleled battlespace situational awareness that translates into platform lethality, effectiveness, and survivability.”

Northrop currently manufactures the AN/APG-81 AESA radar, installed on the F-35. The radar succeeded the F-22 AN/APG-77.

The company received the contract to build APG-81 in 2001 and is expecting orders to manufacture more than 3,000 radars through 2035. 

Block 4 Component

Northrop kept the APG-85’s development under wraps for a long time. The US Air Force’s wish list for fiscal 2023 mentioned it for the first time in April. 

The list included the addition of $921 million to procure seven more “Block 4 F-35As with the APG-85 radar from Lot 17,” Defense News reported.

The radar is one of the crucial components of the Block 4 upgrades, slated to be completed by 2029. 

The radar is expected to be ready by 2029, featuring improvements in range, resolution, and compatibility with more dynamic electronic warfare employment.

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