USMC FA-18 Hornet

Raytheon has successfully completed the flight test of its APG-79(V) X AESA radar system, demonstrating the functions required to extend the combat relevance of F/A-18C/D Hornet aircraft for 15 to 20 years.

The Hornet fleets, upgraded with new APG-79V(X) radar, will benefit from extended detection ranges, simultaneous air-to-air and air-to-ground capabilities, production of high-resolution synthetic aperture radar (SAR) mapping and better reliability.

Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems business Tactical Airborne Systems business development director Mike Garcia said: "We put our latest AESA radar to the test, and it exceeded our expectations.

"Our APG-79(V)X combines the best features of our AESA portfolio to maintain tactical advantage for F/A-18C/D aircraft."

The world’s first operational AESA radar for fighter aircraft was deployed in 2000. Since then, Raytheon has delivered more than 500 tactical AESA radars for F-15, F/A-18E/F, EA-18G and B-2 aircraft.

"We put our latest AESA radar to the test, and it exceeded our expectations."

Currently installed on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers, the APG-79 system has been used in four combat theatres since its first delivery in 2006.

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Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems business vice-president Roy Azevedo said: "Our experience with AESA radar systems ensures a low-risk transition to the APG-79V(X). Installations require less than 60 minutes."

"In these uncertain economic times, when defence budgets are particularly tight, Raytheon’s APG-79V(X) radar offers a proven, cost-effective solution for Hornet life extension, as well as significant opportunities for in-country manufacturing partnerships."

In January this year, Raytheon flight tested its APG-79 (V) X AESA radar system on the US Navy’s F/A-18C/D Hornet fighter/attack jets.

Image: A US Marine Corps F/A-18C flying over the South China Sea. Photo: courtesy of LCPL John Mcgarity, USMC.