RDT&E+Procurement available to the U.S.
FY13 $billions 100%





0% FY13 FY14 FY15 FY16 FY17 FY18 FY19 FY20 FY21 FY22

Northrop Grumman



Lockheed Martin [scant]

versions still in production for foreign military sales (including an $88-million contract in June 2012 for 43 radars for Thailand, Oman, and Iraq), and a total of more than 2,500 APG-68s delivered worldwide. But in June the Air Force finally approved an acquisition strategy to “mitigate [JSF] fielding delays” with their F-16 CAPES (combat avionics programmed extension suite) program, the heart of which will be a new AESA radar. Plans call for a five-year, $330-million CAPES development program; $1.64 billion will be allotted for an initial USAF procurement of 300 F-16s, with installations from 2018 through 2022. The service does not yet plan to upgrade their 700 other in-service F-16s, but we suspect a large portion will get CAPES, and foreign military sales are also highly likely. In an effort to speed development, the Air Force has named Lockheed Martin the sole qualified source for this upgrade, but the radar has not yet been chosen. Immediately following the USAF’s CAPES decision, in July 2012, South Korea and Taiwan both agreed to major F-16 upgrade deals of their own. These will be managed by the Air Force, with the U.S. allowed to choose

their AESA radar. Korea plans to upgrade about 134 KF-16C/Ds. Taiwan will upgrade about 146 Block 20 F-16A/Bs, with its first upgraded aircraft to be delivered in 2021. In August 2012, Seoul surprisingly chose BAE Systems to conduct its upgrade (for an initial $1.1 billion) instead of Lockheed Martin (with an initial $1.85 billion from Taiwan). That opened the possibility of a split F-16 AESA market and of reinjecting some much-needed competition for future international programs.

A winner for this first (and probably biggest) round of USAF/South Korea/ Taiwan F-16 AESA buys will reportedly be chosen this year or in 2014. It will be either Northrop Grumman’s SABR (scalable agile beam radar) or Raytheon’s RACR (Raytheon advanced combat radar). RACR is derived from the APG-79 AESA antenna on the Super Hornet. SABR is based on Northrop Grumman’s AN/APG-80 on UAE Block 60 F16s (in early 2012, the company claimed its APG-80 as the first production AESA in combat, operationally deployed aboard UAE F-16s in the

Libya campaign). Although Northrop’s mechanically scanned APG-68 radar is still in production for new F-16s, Raytheon so far seems at only a small disadvantage in offering its own antenna, as it is currently producing many more AESA systems than Northrop, with APG-63/79/82 production ongoing. The F-16 AESA upgrade market could be huge, with production possibly in the thousands. But it is too early to forecast with confidence—will there be continuing competitions, or will Northrop or Raytheon dominate? Will an initial USAF/South Korea/Taiwan buy knock one or the other out of future competitions? AESA upgrades for USAF F-15s have so far been extremely expensive, with $8 million or more funded for each upgrade—considerably more than a complete newbuild radar a few years ago. If SABR and RACR genuinely provide ‘drop-in’ flight-line retrofit antennas, and if Selex, Elta, and others also offer viable alternatives, can these upgrades cost more than the $2 million we have estimated (when the Selex Vixen 500E AESA radar costs only $3 million for the entire system)? If not, then the total funding for APG-68 AESA upgrades will really not be great, certainly not as much as a major program like the APG-77 or APG-81, and profit margins will be low. Guaranteed noncompetitive radar programs such as the F-35 JSF will continue to earn much more money. For the first round of USAF/South Korea/Taiwan F-16 AESA buys, some reports indicate Northrop Grumman’s SABR may be the Air Force’s preferred choice, apparently because of lower expected costs compared to RACR. We provide a speculative forecast, without picking a winner.

Super Hornet and Raytheon
Raytheon’s APG-79 AESA radar was developed for the Navy F/A-18E/F, for new builds and as a retrofit replacement for the AN/APG-73. It provides increased detection and tracking ranges (vs. the mechanically scanned APG73), multitarget tracking, a SAR mode, and preplanned product improvements. The latter includes a jamming

The first LRIP radar was delivered for flight testing in January 2005. Rockwell drockwell@tealgroup. Raytheon supplied APG-63(V)3 AESA radars for Singapore’s JOIN THE CONVERSATION ON TWITTER: #aiaaGNC SPONSORSHIP AND EXHIBIT OPPORTUNITIES Contact: Merrie Scott Phone: +1. research.aiaa.703. Mississippi. Northrop/Raytheon duopoly Preceding the APG-79 was Raytheon’s AN/APG-63(V)2 AESA. Even if Raytheon wins the bulk of future F-16 AESA upgrades. Navigation. and Super Hornet. and is capable of doubling that rate. Boeing and the Navy marked delivery of the 500th Super Hornet to the service’s tactical aircraft fleet. Available funding could grow some- The APG-79 AESA was developed for the Navy F/A-18E/F. ramping up to a potentially dominant position by the end of this decade. and technology inthese highly related aerospace fields. with full-rate production approved in July 2007. but Northrop will likely win at least half of future F-16 funding. Raytheon reported that its manufacturing facility in Forest.500+ of the APG-68s to be upgraded. Raytheon has been the market leader since last decade. F-15E. reports indicated Raytheon had been in discussions with Singapore about AESA radar upgrades for its air force’s F-16C/Ds. In early 2011. produced in limited numbers for USAF F-15Cs and arguably the first fighter AESA radar (Japan’s F-2 J/APG-1 also claims that honor).org AEROSPACE AMERICA/APRIL 2013 25 . and collaboration of AIAA Guidance. at least in terms of numbers. 19 9–22 22 A August st 2013 201 Marriott M ott Boston Copley Place Boston. Raytheon delivered the 250th APG-79 to Boeing. what if F-16 costs are greater than anticipated. and Control Conference AIAA Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Conference AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference AIAA Infotech@Aerospace 2013 Conference CONFERENCE OVERVIEW Four conferences will combine in 2013 to provide the world’s premier forum for presentation. Northrop Grumman will soon surpass Raytheon in funding value. but this number could easily rise. David R. if only because it has built all 2. But with JSF alone. including EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft. Total APG-79 program costs could reach or exceed $6 billion. discussion. n Massachusetts Massach s FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO REGISTER GO TO: www. we do not see how this situation could change. In March 2011. In February 2012. was producing up to six radars a month.function to supplement the Super Hornet’s IDECM (integrated defense electronic countermeasures) suite.7530 Email: merries@aiaa. The Navy’s current plans have the APG-79 equipping more than 500 Super Hornets. In February 2012. With major production programs today for the F-15C/D.264.

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