Raytheon AN/APG-79(V)4 Active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar
Raytheon AN/APG-79(V)4 Active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar

Raytheon to Equip US Marine Corps F/A-18C/D Hornet Fleet with New AN/APG-79(V)4 AESA Radars

Raytheon Co., El Segundo, California, is awarded a $63,103,871 fixed-price-incentive-fee modification to a previously awarded contract. This modification exercises options to procure 19 AN/APG-79(V)4 radar systems and associated software in support of radar retrofit and integration into the F/A-18C/D aircraft on behalf of the Marine Corps. Additionally, this modification provides engineering and obsolescence management support as well as associated technical, financial, and administrative data in support of the retrofit and integration effort. Work is expected to be completed in March 2023. Fiscal 2022 aircraft procurement funds in the amount of $63,103,871 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The U.S. Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

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.

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Raytheon AN/APG-79(V)4 Active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar
Raytheon AN/APG-79(V)4 Active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar

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.

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.

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