Description of the radar set, tactical-technical characteristics
Figure 1: Raytheon’s APG-79 AESA Radar
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AN/APG-79 is an airborne AESA radar (Active Electronically Scanned Array) for F/A-18 E/F aircrafts. Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems is the prime contractor, while Northrop Grumman is responsible for the design and construction of the X-Band phased array antenna. The AN/APG-79 radar is an advanced derivative designed to fit into the F/A-18C/D fighter/attack jet aircraft as part of a modernization program for existing customers such as the US Navy and the Air Forces of Finland, Kuwait, Malaysia or Switzerland. It will be a replacement of the AN/APG-73.
The AN/APG-79 radar is composed of a numerous solid-state transmit and receive modules to virtually eliminate mechanical breakdown. Other new system components include an advanced receiver/exciter, ruggedized commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) processor, and power supplies. The detection range against a target of 1 m² (0 dBsm) is about 150 km. These features characterize the APG-79 radar as a highly reliable radar with reduced operation costs, and new features such as Synthetic Aperture Mapping (SAR). The flight tests of the APG-79 radar begun in June 2003. The AN/APG-79 radar systems will be supplied to F/A-18E/F Super Hornets as part of Super Hornet program Block II upgrade. The US Navy's EA-18G Electronic Attack aircraft will be equipped with the APG-79 AESA radar system as well.