Northrop selects Mercury for F-16 radar

Mercury Computer Systems has signed an agreement with Northrop Grumman Corporation’s Electronic Sensors and Systems Sector (ES3) to supply RACE multiprocessor technology for the F-16 fighter aircraft radar. This includes support for the advanced agile beam fire control radar and the internal forward-looking infrared and targeting system (IFTS). The current business is valued at $6.8 million to Mercury.

Mercury’s digital signal and image processing technology and architecture will be used in the F-16’s advanced agile beam fire control radar and in the internal forward-looking infrared and targeting system (IFTS). The agile beam radar provides pilots with the ability to continuously search for and track multiple targets. As a result of increased operational flexibility, pilots will have the ability to simultaneously perform air-to-air search-and-track, air-to-ground targeting, and aircraft-terrain following.

Agile beam radar has a highly programmable, modular architecture that has proven to be reliable under extreme weather conditions and under a broad range of threats. Other advantages of this radar include a much greater detection range, an ability to simultaneously detect and track multiple targets, high-resolution synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images, and a twofold increase in reliability compared to conventional, mechanically scanned radars.

The F-16 will constitute 56 percent of the U.S. Air Force’s fighter force through year 2010, about the time the Joint Strike Fighter production is anticipated to ramp up. The F-16 constitutes a significant portion of NATO’s fighter force with over 800 aircraft purchased by European members, including recent orders for 80 aircraft from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and 50 from Greece.