F-16 Next-Gen Electronic Warfare Suite Completes Lab Integration

An F-16 next-generation electronic warfare suite has completed lab integration, paving the way for its first flight test next year.

Northrop Grumman has been contracted to develop and install the AN/ALQ-257 Integrated Viper Electronic Warfare Suite on as many as 450 F-16s.

Northrop is aiming to ready the system for its first flight test in the first quarter of 2024.

Lab Integration

“We’ve just completed our system integration in a US government laboratory,” Defense Scoop quoted Northrop vice president James Conroy as saying.

“This is a huge accomplishment to get it into the US government’s labs, and actually integrate the system with all of the other systems that will be on their F-16 platform.” 

The lab environment replicates real aircraft, including all subsystems.

Viper Electronic Warfare Suite 

The suite is intended to detect, identify, and defeat “radio frequency-guided weapons,” increasing the aircraft’s survivability in contested environments.

It is compatible with the onboard AN/APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR), which is capable of engaging multiple air and ground targets.

“When an EW system and a radar are able to work together fully, as demonstrated with NGEW and SABR, pilots can take advantage of capability without compromise,” Conroy explained last year.  

“With the radio frequency spectrum becoming increasingly contested, this critical set of capabilities will support the F-16 for many years to come.”

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