Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a Raytheon Technologies business, received a $140.3 million U.S. Naval Air Systems Command foreign military sales contract to equip the Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Hornet fleet with RI&S’ APG-79(V)4 Active Electronically Scanned Array radar. The APG-79(V)4 is a scaled version of the APG-79 AESA radar that helps pilots detect and track enemy aircraft from farther distances and with more accuracy than legacy systems. The radar’s improved targeting capabilities provide an edge in crucial operations including air-to-air, maritime strike and air-to-surface missions. Powered by gallium nitride, or GaN, the APG-79(V)4 delivers a compact, efficient design with GaN Transmit/Receive Modules embedded directly into the array.
The APG-79(V)4 uses solid-state electronic technology with no moving parts, which equates to lower maintenance and repair costs, and increased aircraft availability. This smaller radar shares 90 percent of the same parts and technology as the larger AN/APG-79 radar used in the F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft. RI&S began development work to equip classic F/A-18 Hornets with an AESA radar upgrade last year, and initial production orders are now underway. The expansion to support the Royal Canadian Air Force allows RI&S to outfit allies with the same advanced technology provided to U.S. military aircrews. This contract builds on Raytheon Intelligence & Space’s legacy of AESA radar production, having fielded the first AESA radar in 2000. Work will be performed in El Segundo, Calif., Dallas, Texas and Forest, Miss.
The AN/APG-79 Active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar is a new development for the United States Navy’s Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and Boeing EA-18G Growler aircraft, providing a high level of aircrew situational awareness. The beam of the AESA radar provides nearly instantaneous track updates and multi-target tracking capability. The APG-79 AESA uses transmit/receive (TR) modules populated with Gallium arsenide Monolithic microwave integrated circuits. In the F/A-18E/F, the radar is installed in a slide-out nose rack to facilitate maintenance. It is also currently being tested on the F/A-18 C/D. The APG-79 features an entirely solid-state antenna construction, which improves reliability and lowers the cost compared to a traditional system.
The AN/APG-79(V)4 radar’s powerful array, back-end processor and operational software make the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, F/A-18 Hornet and EA-18G Growler stronger than ever before. A scaled version of the APG-79, the (V)4 also implements Gallium Nitrade, or GaN, technology. This technology insertion allows aircrews to see further and clearer. The U.S. Marine Corps selected the RI&S APG-79(V)4 to upgrade their Hornet fleets. The radar uses a military-grade version of gallium nitride, a semiconductor that, in its common form, helps power household products including LED lightbulbs, televisions and Blu-Ray disc players. A major reason for Raytheon Technologies’ success with GaN is its state-of-the-art facility in Andover, Massachusetts.