Thursday, August 18, 2011

Asia's F-16 operators eye AESA radar upgrades

Republic of Singapore Air Force F-16C Block 52

Aviationweek has reported that three Asian F-16 operators, namely the Republic of Korea, Singapore and Taiwan are keen on upgrading their respective F-16 fleets with the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar. This follows the United States Air Force, already facing delays with the controversial Lockheed-Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter program, recently requesting information on F-16 AESA upgrades for 300-600 of the USAF's current F-16 fleet. The AESA radars in contention for all the potential upgrades are likely to be between Northrop Grumman’s Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) and the Raytheon Advanced Combat Radar (RACR).

The Republic of Korea Air Force currently operates 169 F-16C/D Block 32/52s, with the Republic of Singapore Air Force operating 60 F-16C/D Block 52/52+ and the Republic of China (Taiwan) Air Force having 145 F-16A/B Block 20s in its inventory.

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