FA-18C Hornet

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

Designed to extend the Hornet’s relevance, the Raytheon-built radar system demonstrated extended detection ranges and simultaneous air-to-air and air-to-ground capabilities.

Additional functions include the production of high-resolution synthetic aperture radar (SAR) mapping and industry-leading reliability.

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

"Our APG-79 (V) X combines the best features of our AESA portfolio to ensure low risk and give F/A-18C/D a tactical advantage for the next 15 to 20 years."

According to Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems business vice-president Roy Azevedo, the world’s first operational AESA radar for fighter aircraft was deployed in 2000.

"We put our latest AESA radar capability 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.

Developed as part of a US Navy programme of record, Raytheon has delivered more than 500 tactical AESA tactical radars to date from a portfolio that includes the APG-79, APG-63 (V) 3 and APG-82 (V) 1 for F-15, F/A-18E/F, EA-18G and B-2 aircraft.

Azevedo said: "Our portfolio of tactical AESA radars has now flown more than 500,000 operational hours, [which is] an industry first. We will continue to advance this technology to give our warfighters the greatest possible tactical advantage."

Image: An F/A-18C Hornet lands on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77). Photo: courtesy of the US Navy, photo by mass communication specialist 3rd class Joshua Card / released.