Upgrade of Taiwan’s F-16s with APG-83 SABR Begins, while Raytheon’s RACR Looks Down for the Count

by C. Zachary Hofer, Electronic Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

Sources in Taiwan report that the first four of the Air Force’s F-16A/Bs that will undergo an upgrade arrived at a plant in Taichung on January 16.  The aircraft will be upgraded and overhauled to the F-16V configuration.  As part of the estimated $3.47 billion upgrade, the F-16 fighters will be equipped with Northrop Grumman’s APG-83 SABR active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.

The APG-83 SABR, or Scalable Agile Beam Radar, is part of a new generation of AESA radars developed for retrofit to older fighter jets, replacing less reliable, lower definition, and more power-hungry mechanically scanned array radars.  Over the past several years, the SABR has duked it out with Raytheon’s APG-84 RACR – Raytheon Advanced Combat Radar – to win the title of dominant AESA radar retrofit for the F-16 market.  With the cancellation of all known RACR contracts and launch of the large-scale Taiwanese SABR program, it now looks as if the Raytheon radar may be down for the count.

More than 144 APG-83 SABR radars are expected to be delivered to Taiwan to satisfy the requirements of its F-16 conversion program.  Contract work is projected to stretch into the mid-2020s.

Please feel free to use this content with Forecast International and analyst attributions, along with a link to the article. Contact Ray Peterson at +1 (203) 426-0800 or via email at ray.peterson@forecast1.com for additional analysis.

FI’s eight Electronic Systems Market Intelligence Services cover the full range of defense-related systems and programs in the radar, communications, electro-optical, and electronic warfare markets, presenting a comprehensive market outlook for current equipment as well as new systems being developed as the modern battlefield moves toward a technology-based warfare approach with network-centric capabilities.

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